Simeon’s Jalen Griffith commits to Jacksonville

Jalen Griffith announced his commitment to Jacksonville on Thursday, a little over a week after taking an official visit to the ASUN Conference school.

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Simeon’s Jalen Griffith (2) lines up and drains a three against Kenwood.

Simeon’s Jalen Griffith (2) lines up and drains a three against Kenwood.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

As Jalen Griffith ran the show for a team that was ranked No. 1 for most of the regular season, he did so as one of the top uncommitted senior prospects in the state.

Now as he begins what is expected to be a long state tournament run, the Simeon point guard has the relief of knowing his college decision has been made.

Griffith announced his commitment to Jacksonville on Thursday, a little over a week after taking an official visit to the ASUN Conference school.

“The coaches there were the difference,” Griffith said of head coach Jordan Mincy and his staff. “I felt like they showed genuine love towards me and my game. I felt like it was the right spot from the moment I got there on my visit and was the best situation for me.”

Griffith said Jacksonville laid out a plan and vision that excited him.

“They wanted a point guard who could run the team,” Griffith said. “They are missing a point guard who can control the game and make it easier for the coach.”

While Griffith had a name early on in his career and played for a high profile high school and AAU teams, his recruitment was slow. Griffith’s small stature and height was always going to be a hindrance and scared off some. As a result, he didn’t sign in the fall.

But he’s excelled all season for a team that heads into Friday’s regional championship with a 27-3 record and ranked No. 1. Griffith is averaging 16 points and six assists a game and was named the A.C. Williamson Award winner at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament in December.

Griffith, however, says he never became frustrated and knew his time was coming. He was looking for the right fit and a coach and program that fully believed in him.

“I stayed patient,” he said. “I continued to work on my game and believed at the right time it would all come together for me.”

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