Andre Rafus Talks Recruiting, Transfer to St. Benedict's Prep Because of Violence in Baltimore | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / June 18.
  • Andre Rafus Talks Recruiting, Transfer to St. Benedict’s Prep Because of Violence in Baltimore

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    Andre RafusAfter losing three friends to shooting deaths in the city of Baltimore in the last four years, Andre Rafus decided it was time to get out.

    So the 6-foot-9, 190-pound Class of 2017 forward will transfer this summer to St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark from Baltimore St. Frances and will play for head coach Mark Taylor.

    “I chose to transfer to St. Benedict’s in New Jersey because I think I need to get out of Baltimore and that’s the best fit for me,” Rafus told, which first reported the news of his transfer.

    “My main goal is getting my family out of Baltimore. It’s crazy, there’s a whole lot of shootings down here.”

    Rafus, ranked the No. 59 prospect in the Class of 2017 by, also considered various other elite programs, including Findlay Prep, Montverde Academy, Our Savior New American, Montrose Christian and Brewster Academy.

    But on July 20, he will move away from his parents, Andre Sr., a truck driver, and Denine Brooks, who works for Head Start, and his little twin brothers and head to St. Benedict’s, a traditional powerhouse that has featured J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Ennis and Isaiah Briscoe.

    He made the decision in part because he is friendly with St. Benedict’s guards Nate Pierre-Louis and Trevon Duval, the No. 5 player in the Rivals rankings for 2017.

    “I chose the one in New Jersey because I feel as though that’s the closest one and that’s a good fit for me,” he said.

    Rafus figures to get even more attention from college coaches at St. Benedict’s. He already boasts scholarship offers from UNLV, USC, UCLA, California, UConn, Kansas State, Dayton, UMass, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgetown, West Virginia, St. John’s, VCU, Memphis, Arizona State and Delaware.

    His most recent offers came from Cal, St. John’s and VCU.

    “Really all the schools that have offered me are recruiting me,” he said. “All the schools that offered me a scholarship have been calling me on a daily basis.”

    Rafus has ambitious plans about visiting schools, too.

    “I definitely plan on visiting all my schools, all the schools that offered me a scholarship,” he said. “Every last one.”

    Rafus will be busy in July playing at numerous AAU events with Team Melo in Philadelphia, Long Island, Atlanta and Las Vegas before he heads to St. Benedict’s later this month

    “I’ll just be a versatile player,” he said. “I can score inside and out. I try to talk my guys up, play hard. I do a little bit of everything.”

    Eventually, Rafus’ goal is to play professionally somewhere so he can help move his family away from the violence he has suffered in Baltimore.

    “My goal is to be a pro,” he said. “That’s what I’m reaching for so I can get my family out of Baltimore so I don’t gotta see my family struggle no more.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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