By Joseph Staszewski
Jermaine Bishop chose to seize an opportunity to play high-level college basketball at a program in need of his services.
The Holy Cross senior guard verbally committed to play men’s basketball at St. Louis March 31, choosing the Billikens over St. Peter’s. Fresh off his decision, Bishop scored 15 points, including three treys in the CHSAA’s 117-109 loss to the PSAL at the Mayor’s Cup senior all-star game April 1 at Baruch College.
Bishop wanted to experience life away from New York City and get a chance to play in the highly competitive Atlantic-10 conference. He also felt a loyalty to St. Louis because its coaching staff continued to recruit him even after he missed much of last summer’s live recruiting period with a badly bruised knee.
St. Louis is in need of a point guard with his skills, according to Holy Cross coach Terry Tarpey. Bishop thought the situation was too good a fit to pass up.
“I just felt comfortable,” Bishop said. “I felt like I am home away from home.”
The Billikens offered Bishop a scholarship after Holy Cross’ season ended in the CHSAA Class AA playoffs and he visited the campus two weeks ago. Knights coach Terry Tarpey thought Bishop’s strong finish to the year helped to seal St. Louis’ opinion of him. Billiken’s head coach Jim Crews watched Bishop play twice in March.
“They want me to come in and be a playmaker, get guys involved.” Bishop said.
Bishop scored a game-high 27 points, dished out six assists and grabbed five rebounds in a quarterfinal victory against St. Raymond in the CHSAA Class AA Intersectional playoffs. He followed that up with 26 points and six rebounds in a season-ending loss to Christ the King in the semis.
Bishop did his homework, too.
He saw St. Louis play twice during the season and felt he could help out. He still needs to put on some weight, but Tarpey said that his strengths on the court transcend well to the next level. Bishop averaged 20 points per game this season and was named to the CHSAA All-League First Team.
“He can really handle. He can really shoot,” Tarpey said. “He’s getting a little stronger. His range will get a little deeper. He wanted high level. He was really excited when [St. Louis] came around.”
Bishop joked that he couldn’t have asked for a much better ending to his senior season after finding his home for the next four years.
“Maybe beating King and going to the championship, that’s really about it,” he said. “I’m loving it. My parents are excited. I’m going to college for free.”
Patriots’ Robyn Francis lands at LIU Post
Robyn Francis flew under the radar during her career at Francis Lewis. She used the lack of interest from college as motivation and thrust herself into the spotlight this season.
“I finally ended up with a scholarship,” Francis said.
She was the Patriots’ most consistent player. She averaged 10.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game in league play. The year helped Francis earn a scholarship to LIU Post. Mercy and Nyack also showed interest. She said LIU Post also gave her a good chance to play right away with the Pioneers losing three guards to graduation.
“When I visited the school, it was a welcoming environment,” Francis said. “All of the players were nice. The coach came to a couple of my games.”
Francis Lewis teammate Chi La Bady also committed to Mercy College.