By Jonah Bronstein
Niagara Gazette — The glue guy from one of the nation's top high school teams a season ago is set to join the Niagara Purple Eagles next year.
Jamall Robinson, a 6-foot-5 swingman from Paul VI Catholic in Fairfax, Va., gave a verbal commitment to coach Joe Mihalich earlier this week and plans to sign a binding letter of intent Nov. 12.
"He's a perfect fit for Coach Mihalich and his system," Paul VI coach Glenn Farello said. "He's a versatile energy guy, plays a lot of different positions for us, and the biggest thing is he's a lockdown defensive player."
Farello said coaches from more than 70 programs have come to watch his team in the past year, and all came away with the same impression of Robinson.
"He's a winner," Farello said. "He'll do whatever it takes to win."
Robinson, whose mother, the former Crystal Robinson, was an all-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference player for Saint Peter's in 1998, averaged nine points and seven rebounds as a junior for a nationally-ranked Panthers team that finished 35-3, went unbeaten in its league for the first time in school history, and had four seniors receive Division I scholarship offers. Robinson was the team's leading scorer in the WCAC championship game.
"I'm not trying to lose any games this season," Robinson said.
Robinson visited Monteagle Ridge last week, staying with sophomores Juan'ya Green and Ameen Tanksley, and freshman Tahjere McCall.
"I liked the team chemistry and how Coach Mihalich treats the players, giving the players a lot of freedom to play fast," he said. "And they said there is a lot of support there from the students and the teachers."
Robinson said assistant coach Mike Farrelly sealed his decision earlier this week when he drove 16 hours round trip to watch Robinson in a scrimmage.
"That let me know they really care," he said.
Niagara, which opens the season Friday at Oregon State, has two seniors on its current roster and one open scholarship.