- By Marcus Hartman
Scratch one thing off Samari Curtis’ to-do list.
With his college choice made — the Xenia junior announced Monday night he is going to Xavier — Curtis can further concentrate on his stated goal of elevating Buccaneers basketball to another level.
With four games left in the regular season, Curtis leads the Greater Western Ohio Conference in scoring at 30.4 points per game. He’s scored 30 points or more in 10 of 17 games played this season, including a 50-point performance in a loss at Tippecanoe on Jan. 5.
The combo guard also averages 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounder per game for the 10-8 Buccaneers, who are in second place behind Trotwood-Madison in the GWOC American South division.
“So proud of how much work Samari has put into his skillset and his strength training,” Xenia coach Kent Anderson said. “It has most certainly paid huge dividends. Xavier is one of the top programs in the country.”
Xavier is No. 5 in the most recent Associated Press poll, and coach Chris Mack has turned up his recruiting a notch since the Musketeers joined the new Big East.
The 2017 class ranked No. 1 in the conference and 10th in the country. It was Mack’s third top 30 class in four years.
Curtis is Xavier’s first commit for 2019.
He said in early January he also had offers from Akron, Toledo, Kent State and Cincinnati.
Curtis is the No. 4 prospect in Ohio according to 247Sports, just ahead of Trotwood-Madison guard Amari Davis and Sidney guard Andre Gordon.
Anderson said the last Division I basketball signee from Xenia was Lenny Bazelak, who played at Dartmouth from 1984-88.
Prior to that, 1979 graduate Eric Salter went to Iowa State.
The program also boasts one NBA player — Barry Clemens, who spent 11 seasons in the league after playing his college ball at Ohio Wesleyan.