Jaren Sina still has one more year left in high school, but the junior point guard is enjoying a magical season this year for Gill St. Bernard’s, and the team hopes to finish it off on Saturday in the New Jersey state championship game.
On Tuesday, Sina finished with 21 points and 10 assists to lead the Knights to a 71-70 overtime win over Trenton Catholic. Sina hit a clutch 3-point shot late in the fourth quarter to give his team their first lead.
“It’s been a great season for me and especially the team,” Sina said. “I think I’m having a great year. I’m up for all-state and player of the year in the state. Hopefully, we can continue this run, try to win that state championship and keep working hard for the rest of the week.”
It won’t be an easy task for Gill St. Bernard’s who drew St. Anthony’s, the No. 2 team in the nation, in Saturday’s title game. St. Anthony’s features Kyle Anderson, a McDonald’s All-American who is signed with UCLA.
“The nucleus of our team has been together since we were 6th graders, so it would be a great ending for us, but it’s also a great opportunity to play a team like St. Anthony’s with legendary coach Bob Hurley,” Sina said.
With the season picking up recently, it’s been difficult for Sina to devote any time to his recruitment. Butler and Memphis have both offered the ESPNU Super 60 point guard in the last month, bringing his offer list to 12 schools.
Although he decommitted from the University of Alabama last fall, Sina still has the Crimson Tide toward the top of his list.
“Alabama is still definitely high up there,” he said. “They’re still very high on my list, and I still have a lot of interest in them.”
In fact, Sina says he calls the UA coaching staff at least once or twice a week. The Gladstone, N.J., native has a close relationship with Tide assistant coach Tony Pujol as well as head coach Anthony Grant.
“They’re the two guys recruiting me the hardest,” Sina said. “I have a great relationship with them, and they’re one of the schools that’s recruiting me the hardest and probably one of the first schools to start recruiting me.”
Sina committed to Alabama in January 2011 before reopening his recruitment. The former Crimson Tide pledge has been keeping an eye on how Grant and the rest of the team is playing.
“They’ve had some bumps, but obviously, they’re having a great run right now in the SEC,” Sina said. “I hope they get that NCAA Tournament bid and do well in the SEC Tournament. I know they got snubbed last year, but I would hope they would get in.”
If Alabama makes it to Saturday in the SEC Tournament, Sina may not be able to watch. He’s got a state championship to try and win.