St. John's officially signs Portuguese star Rubin Prey | 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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Friday / July 12.
  • St. John’s officially signs Portuguese star Rubin Prey

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Rubin Prey, the 6-foot-10 Portuguese star, committed to St. John’s on Tuesday evening, has officially signed with St. John’s.

    Red Storm head coach Rick Pitino pursued Prey a year ago, but the player decided not to attend an American college at the time and had to graduate high school.

    Prey, 19, averaged 11.8 points and 7.1 rebounds in 16 games this past season for CB Prat. He also played for Spanish club Joventus Badalona, averaging about 3 points and 3 rebounds in about 10 minutes per game.

    “Ruben bolsters our front court into not only the tallest but also the quickest I have coached in some time,” said Pitino. “He shoots it well, runs the court rim to rim with great speed, and will comprehend the Euro offense easily.”

    Prey has starred internationally, appearing in 76 games in Spain with three teams – FIATC Mutua Joventut U18, CB Prat and Joventut Badalona – over the last four seasons.  With Mutua, Prey helped the club to the 2022-23 Patras Tournament Championship after posting 14.0 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game. He was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after leading the team in rebounding for three of four contests and posting 19 points and 15 rebounds in the title game against Espoirs Asvel.

    Last season, Prey shined for CB Prat where he averaged 11.8 points and 7.1 rebounds starting 13 of 16 appearances. He shot 56.7 percent from the field and averaged 24.5 minutes per game during his time with the club.

     A native of Lisbon, Portugal, Prey has made 18 appearances at the junior international level, most notably representing his home country at the U20 FIBA European Championships in Podgorica, Montenegro in 2022.

     Prey ranked seventh among all scorers in the international competition as a 17-year-old, averaging 16.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest in seven outings for Team Portugal. He registered a pair of 20-point performances, including 24 points in a 90-86 win over Israel on July 17, followed by a 23-point effort a week later against Czech Republic.

    The following year, Prey starred in the U18 European Championships B Division averaging 19.1 points and shooting 53.8 percent shooting from the field. He also posted a tournament-best 14.0 rebounds per game, including 5.0 offensive rebounds in seven games to help Portugal to a top-10 finish. Prey put forth his top performance against Estonia with a 28-point, 24-rebound effort on July 28, 2023.

    “I really do believe he will make a splash right away. … He’s a guy that can contribute immediately, because he’s been playing against men for three years at the top level,” Ricardo Brito Reis, a EuroLeague announcer who has also worked with the Portuguese national team, told the NY Post. “He’s definitely ready to play in the NCAA.”

    “He’s a 6-foot-10 guy with great speed, lateral movement, he can defend multiple positions. He’s a good rim protector,” he added. “Offensively, he’s very versatile. He can dribble, he runs the floor really well — he’s a great rim-runner — and when they have to play half-court, he’s a guy that can play both outside or inside, [with his] back to the basket. He has to develop his left-hand dribble, but he has great court awareness and he’s developing his 3-point shot.”

    St. John’s already has one international player committed for 2024-25 in Greek guard Lefteris Liotopoulos.

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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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