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Sports

November 11, 2012

All-American Vonleh commits to No. 1 Indiana

Noah Vonleh of Haverhill, ESPN.com’s No. 8 ranked senior basketball player in the country, has made a verbal commitment to Indiana University.

The announcement was made via Twitter by Mass. Rivals, his club basketball team, at 12:02 a.m. Sunday morning.

Vonleh told ESPN.com, “From Day 1, Indiana has been recruiting me the hardest. They were just letting me know how they could develop me into the player I want to be at the next level. Their academics are good, they’re the No. 1 team in the country and they’ve got another great class coming in next year.

“They said next year I could come in and be one of the main guys. They’re going to lose Christian Watford, and probably Zeller, so they want me to come in and be a big piece right away.”

Vonleh was in Bloomington for Friday’s season opener and judging by his quick decision, it must have been impressive. The sellout crowd of 17,472 for the blowout win over Bryant showered him with affection.

“As soon as I walked out near the court they started chanting, ‘We want Noah,’ “ he told ESPN.com.

His other announced finalists were Connecticut, Georgetown, North Carolina, Ohio State and Syracuse.

It’s been a whirlwind couple months for the multi-talented 6-8, 225-pound forward at New Hampton School in New Hampton, N.H.

First, on Sept. 24 he announced he would be a senior this year. He had played two years at Haverhill High and then originally announced he’d be attending three years of prep school.

With the relatively late change of plans, the assumption was he’d make his announcement in the spring.

The Hoosiers, who had struggled for several years, are back. They are the consensus preseason No. 1 team in the nation. They have the nation’s top player in sophomore 7-foot center Cody Zeller, but he’ll likely go pro after the season.

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