Henricksen: Loyola lands Larkin’s Christian Negron

SHARE Henricksen: Loyola lands Larkin’s Christian Negron
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Larkin’s Christian Negron shoots a jumper over Geneva’s Pace Temple. | Patrick Gleason/For Sun-Times Media

All Loyola head coach Porter Moser has to do to get a glimpse of his enticingly exciting future frontcourt is put in game film of the Larkin-Jacobs regional showdown from a little over seven months ago.

That’s when Cameron Krutwig of Jacobs and Christian Negron of Larkin went head-to-head in a highly-anticipated matchup between two of the top juniors in Illinois.

Neither disappointed with both displaying their greatest strengths at a high level.

Krutwig went for 22 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in the win over Larkin, while Negron put up a double-double of his own with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Now the two will have a chance to star together in the future as Negron committed to the Ramblers on Tuesday. Krutwig, the 6-9 senior, gave his pledge to Moser and Loyola back in August.

“I feel really confident in my decision,” says Negron. “I went through quite a long process, and I thought I did it the right way in taking my time, being patient and finding what was best for me. I definitely feel like I made the right choice.”

Negron took his official visit to Loyola the same weekend as Krutwig. He said the Jacobs senior worked on him during the visit to try and get Negron to join him.

“He definitely talked to me about it,” Negron said of Krutwig encouraging him to be a Rambler. “To be able to go play with him? He’s a great player. That thought definitely entered my head as I made my decision. I think Cam and I will complement one another really well.”

Negron quickly built a relationship with Moser as Loyola became heavily involved a little later in the recruiting process.

“I really trust him and the staff,” says Negron. “I loved the players when I was there, and I’m looking forward to a great four years at Loyola.

“The program is moving in the right direction. They’ve won about 40 some games the past two years, so it’s ready to take the next step and turn the corner. I’m excited to be a part of that.”

Negron, a long-armed, energy-filled 6-6 forward with a blue-collar mentality, recently suffered a setback with an ACL injury that unfortunately will wipe out his senior season. But this is a monster pick-up for Loyola.

He’s a high-level rebounder with his length and athleticism and a defensive stalwart, blocking 110 shots last season while putting up 16 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.2 blocks a game. He garnered interest and offers from several high-major programs over the course of his first three years in high school.

This past summer several college coaches raved about Negron’s performance while playing for Puerto Rico’s U-18 national team in the FIBA Americas Tournament in Chile.

Negron, who will have surgery on his knee this Thursday, has already shifted gears in terms of his next hurdle and the mental approach he’s about to take.

“I’m continuing to think what is the next step for me, and in this case it’s getting healthy and doing all I can to be mentally strong during the rehab part of it,” Negron said of his upcoming knee surgery.

What Moser will be getting above all else in his two-man recruiting class are a pair of young players that he knows exactly what to expect. They are two players will set the tone in practice with their attitude, competitiveness and willingness to learn. Both Krutwig and Negron are a coach’s dream, bringing it every day with their hustle while putting team first.

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