By Joseph Staszewski
Christ the King’s David Cole and Tyrone Cohen were both eager to make their college plans known after taking official visits. Cohen, however, was insistent that they do it right.
Cole wanted to announce it immediately, saying he hoped to get the weight off his chest, but Cohen wanted more people to share in the choices they made.
“Dave wanted to commit on Sunday,” Cohen said. “No. I wanted everyone to be there. We decided on Friday and today it happened.”
Surrounded by family, friends, teammates and faculty the Royals boys’ basketball senior duo made it official last week during a ceremony at Christ the King. Cohen is headed to Holy Cross and Cole is going to Robert Morris. Both said their visits made it clear to them where they wanted to spend the next four years.
The 6-foot-5 Cohen, a combo guard, didn’t go on his visit ready to commit. His plan was to see more schools and make his choice in late November. Instead, he was impressed when the Holy Cross coaching staff told him they wanted players better than Patriot League level and considered him to be of that caliber. Cohen, who has a 91 average, immediately felt comfortable with his future teammates and welcomed the school’s strong academic reputation.
“The players welcomed me like I was already on the team,” Cohen said. “They were cool to meet and welcomed me in.”
The 6-foot-6 Cole left Robert Morris with a similar vibe after visiting the NEC school. There was a genuineness to his relationship with the players and coaches. He is confident coach Andy Toole and his staff with will get the most out of him at power forward. Cole picked Robert Morris over Central Connecticut State, Manhattan, Maine, Wagner and St. Francis.
“They see big things in me.” Cole said. “I see a lot of great things at that school happening for me.”
Royals coach Joe Arbitello applauded both players’ choices and their willingness to go to destinations that had great interest in them. Other kids may have waited it out for bigger name schools, but Cohn and Cole went where they were wanted.
“I think both guys went to schools where they were the prime target,” Arbitello said. “They wanted Tyrone and they wanted David Cole.”
Both players helped the Royals to a third straight CHSAA Intersectional Class AA title last season. Cohen, a lefty shooter, was the team’s top defender, scoring 10 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the city final. Cole, who will be a starter this year, was productive off the bench, playing a key role in last season’s championship game vs. Xaverian. His presence in the paint helped the Royals combat Xaverian’s size. More is expected of both of them this season.
“They are not taking a back seat to anyone this year,” Arbitello said. “It will be their show.”
With their college destinations settled on, Cohen and Cole said they can play in a much more relaxed way, as CK tries to win an historic fourth straight CHSAA title and a third state Federation title in four years.
“I just wanted to get all the weight off my chest,” Cole said. “Now all I have to worry about is winning a state championship with my team.”