Andre Curbelo to Illinois | 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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Saturday / August 15.
  • Andre Curbelo to Illinois

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Illinois scored its point guard of the future on Friday when Andre Curbelo pledged to the Big Ten school.

    The 6-foot-1 Puerto Rican point guard from Long Island Lutheran and the NY Jayhawks picked Illinois over Miami. Ranked the No. 9 point guard in the Class of 2020 by 247Sports.com, he also held offers from Indiana, Texas A&M, Kansas, Oregon, Florida, UConn, Georgetown, Providence, Louisville, Boston College, Pitt, Maryland and Texas Tech.

    Curbelo is the second Long Island Lutheran player this fall to commit to a Big Ten school after forward Zed Key chose Ohio State on Sept. 22. Curbelo is also the sixth Division 1 commit in 2020 from the NY Jayhawks.

    Curbelo has developed a good relationship with Illinois assistant Orlando Antigua. Antigua and Illinois head man Brad Underwood visited Curbelo several times this fall.

    “I’ve been talking to them,” Curbelo said in September. “Antigua, besides him being a great coach and a recruiter, I see him as a good friend. He’s friends with my dad. He speaks Spanish, so it’s always good to have a guy who if you’re somewhere you don’t like, you can always ask him, ‘Hey, give me some tips.’ Even though you didn’t go to his college, I’m pretty sure that he’ll always be there for myself.

    LuHi head coach John Buck said Curbelo figures to make an impact sooner than later.

    “Andre is an incredible floor general,” Buck said. “He has a feel for the game that you simply can not teach. Each year, he has improved markedly in his career here at LuHi. Without a doubt, he is one of the best point guards in the country and has the chance to make an immediate impact at a high major college.”

    Last spring, Curbelo helped lead LuHi to the New York State Federation championship.

    “He averaged about 25 a game as a junior last year in the state tournament to take [the New York State Federation title] home,” Buck added. “He’s not only pass-first, but he is a get his teammates involved classic point guard who can control the game. I give him the ball and he gives it back to me after minutes with a win.”

    Curbelo is Illinois’ second pledge in 2020 following Prolific Prep (CA) forward Coleman Hawkins.

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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.