This time last year, Beau Bommarito and his CBC teammates were about to start a postseason run that would see the Cadets win the school’s first state basketball title since 1997. For seniors who don’t sign with a college in the early period in November, the late winter and early spring is also the time when pieces start falling into place when it comes to playing at the next level.
What do you do if you can’t find the fit you’re looking for? For Bommarito, who averaged 10 points per game as a senior but who shot nearly 50 percent from three point range, the answer was to head to IMG Academy. IMG is headquartered in Bradenton, FL, and serves as both a post-high school sports and academic environment, and also as a training ground for college athletes training for the pro ranks. We asked Bommarito to share what led him there, what he’s getting out of it, and where he’s headed.
My time at IMG in Florida has exposed me to many aspects in life not only in the world of basketball, but to being on my own. Around this time last year I was still very unsure about where I wanted to go next year. I had interest from many schools, but it was not quite at the level I really wanted to play at and none of the schools really seemed like the right fit. The idea came to me that if I went to a prep school for a year to work on my game, it would prepare me a lot more for college basketball and give me a chance to be recruited at a higher level. I was talking about this with my assistant coach at CBC, Coach Botkin, when he showed me IMG Academy. I was immediately very interested. My parents were not quite sold on the idea right away, because they had obviously not known enough about prep schools and wanted me to go to college, but after visiting IMG, we all realized how great of a place it was. The facilities are better than most colleges, and pro athletes from the NBA, NFL, MLB, and more all go there to train. I really liked Coach Mahoney, my current head coach at IMG, and thought he could help me improve and expose me to many colleges. For my goals, IMG was the perfect place for me.
Once I got there, it was very hard at first. It was my first time being away from home, and it was pretty far away from St. Louis. I was homesick all the time. Training was hard, but I enjoyed it because it helped get my mind off of everything else, and I began to really improve. Since being at IMG, I have gained over 10 pounds, really improved my shooting and defense, and have learned many more aspects about the game in general.
I am a post-graduate, so I am part of a group of about 25 other post grads doing the same thing as I am. We are separated into two teams, Blue and White. Those teams also combine to form a National team that plays against some of the best teams in the nation. I am on the National team and the White team. The season started in November and ends in March. I play games with both the white team and national. We are currently 8th in the Nation for Post Graduates, and are fighting for a spot in the National Prep Tournament at the end of the season in March.
In terms of recruiting, I have been exposed to many more colleges, especially in the local area. I have been mostly interested in the top academic schools in the country such as the Ivy Leagues schools and those schools like Amherst, Emory, Williams, and Carnegie Mellon that compare to them. I have an offer from Saint Leo University, and I have also received interest from Stetson, Jacksonville, Drury, Hamilton, Northern Colorado, Berry College, and others. I will most likely wait until at least April to make a decision, because most of those top level schools will release their admission decisions either March 31st or April 1st. I will try to visit as many of those schools as I can in order to find the best fit.
Being at IMG has helped me to mature not only athletically, but academically, socially, and as a person in general. Wherever I go next year, I will continue to work hard and continue to try and have a positive impact the people I meet. I hope that one day people will hear about me not only for basketball, but for the impact I have made on the world.
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