Monday was a busy day for class of 2014 power forward Gavin Skelly.
Just a few hours after leading his Team Work traveling squad to a third-place finish at the AAU National Championships in Orlando, Fla., the Cleveland (Ohio) Westlake product made a verbal commitment to Northwestern.
An athletic and energetic 6-foot-8 forward with a polished offensive skill set, Skelly will take versatility and a high offensive IQ to Northwestern and head coach Chris Collins.
Skelly's is the second pledge for the Wildcats in the class. He will join Chicago native Victor Law in the Northwestern frontcourt beginning in the fall of 2014.
"With the opportunities at Northwestern and it being like an Ivy League school playing in the Big Ten Conference, as well as the excellent new coaching staff, it was just too good of a situation to pass up," Skelly said. "Plus, it's right outside of Chicago, with all of the Fortune 500 companies around. Going there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
In addition to his offer from Northwestern, which was extended in Orlando shortly before his commitment, Skelly considered more than a dozen mid-major offers. He received interest from Boston College, Butler, Stanford, Notre Dame, Purdue and Iowa.
"It was kind of a different situation," Skelly said. "They never really offered me a scholarship. Coach asked me to consider if I would commit right away if they did offer me. I thought about that for a few days with my parents and then called him and told him that I would commit if they were willing to offer. Coach then told me that if I was ready to commit to them then they were ready to commit to me, and that was pretty much it."
A strong academic performer, Skelly mentioned Bucknell, Elon, Miami (Ohio) and Ohio University as schools that he had a particularly difficult time informing that he would not be attending.
One of the more promising available big men in the class, Skelly can score from different levels and play effectively at a fast or a slow tempo. That should make for an easy transition to the high-major level.
"Northwestern is getting a player who is going to bring a lot of energy," Skelly said. "I honestly feel that my ceiling hasn't even come close to being tapped yet. With the opportunities at Northwestern, I just feel that it's a place where I can be really successful."
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