LAWRENCE — From Hampshire Street to Tobacco Road.
Central Catholic's Carson Desrosiers ended the suspense yesterday, announcing that his two-year ride as a prized recruit nationally was done.
"(Tuesday) was the day," said Central's 6-foot-11, 225-pound basketball superstar. "It was just the moment I knew that Wake Forest was absolutely the place I wanted to go."
In verbally committing yesterday, Desrosiers accepted a four-year, full scholarship - valued at over $200,000 - to study at one of the nation's top academic institutions while potentially competing for a national title with one of the Atlantic Coast Conference's power programs.
Desrosiers selected Wake, which went 24-7 last year and at one point owned the nation's No. 1 ranking, over Arizona State and Marquette.
Ironically, Wake, which is in Winston-Salem, N.C., was one of the last Division 1 schools to enter the Desrosiers sweepstakes.
"Originally, I was turned off by that," said Desrosiers. "So many other schools had been in at the beginning. But as I got to learn more and more about them, I really liked what I was hearing from them."
Coach Dino Gaudio and the Demon Deacons apparently set their sights on Desrosiers out of need.
"The coaches sat down after the season and discussed their needs. They struggled shooting the basketball from the outside and were also looking for a four man (power forward)," said Desrosiers, whose unique inside-outside game - he averaged six blocks a game and hit 25 3-pointers - were a two-for-one bargain Wake couldn't pass up.
"One of the assistant coaches (Dave Wojcik) had been at Tulsa and recruited me there. He brought my name up, and I guess they liked what they saw."
Desrosiers, who is rated No. 38 in the high school class of 2010 by Scout.com, joins Nos. 43 (Travis McKie of Virginia), 75 (J.T. Terrell of North Carolina), and 88 (Melvin Tabb of North Carolina) in the Wake Forest Class of 2014.
"It's a great fit for him on a lot of different levels," said Central coach Rick Nault. "Academically, I think it's going to be a challenge for him and I think he'll do well. And I think the lure of playing ACC basketball was very intriguing to him.
"(Coach Gaudio) told Carson, 'We don't want you, we need you,' and I believe that. Playing there is going to allow Carson to do the things he does here, which is shoot the ball and utilize his passing. I think, looking at what Wake Forest has in his program, it will allow him to be free on the perimeter."
It will also translate to repeated winter nights on national television, highlights on SportsCenter and rivalries with the iron like Duke, North Carolina and Georgia Tech.
"Growing up, I always loved watching ACC basketball and I was a Duke fan," said Desrosiers, the 2009 Eagle-Tribune MVP. "Now, that's a team that I have to learn to hate. I'm just excited for the challenge of the ACC, and a couple trips back to Boston (College) will be pretty nice, too."
Top five reasons Carson Desrosiers chose Wake Forest
5. "From the very first contact, the coaching staff seemed like a great group of guys."
4. "I love their running style. I have an opportunity to play the four (power forward), playing both inside and out."
3. "I loved the location. I can't think of a prettier campus."
2. "I'm part of a recruiting class rated in the top 5 nationally (No. 7 by Rivals.com before Desrosiers signed)."
1. "First and most important, it's a top 25 academic school with opportunities I couldn't afford to pass up."
Other top Wake big men
Tim Duncan%1997%7-0%One of the all-time greats
Darius Songaila%2002%6-10%Entering 7th year in NBA
James Johnson%2009%6-9%Drafted 16th overall by Chicago
Al-Farouq Aminu%2012%6-10%Preseason second-team All-American by FoxSports.com
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