Bommarito Chooses Emory: When the best choice isn’t Division I

Back in February, we shared the story of former CBC guard Beau Bommarito, who decided to take a post-graduation detour to IMG Academy in Florida after he left West County last spring. When we left him, it was several weeks before the start of the spring signing period for basketball players to declare where they’d be going to college.

Bommarito recently confirmed he’ll attend Emory University. What follows is his explanation of how he reached that decision, and why it took time, and a change in his own thinking.

           It took an extra year, but I finally found the college that feels like the perfect fit. The recruiting process was incredibly difficult and stressful for me. Countless schools would ignore my emails, texts, and calls or contact me just to let me know they had no spots or scholarships left. For a while, I was so caught up in the division I hype that I overlooked many amazing schools simply because they played basketball at the Division III level.

I wanted to play at a high level, but I did not want to sacrifice academics.  I had offers at the division II level, but I knew I could go to schools that had better academics.  Schools also offered me walk-on opportunities at the Division I level, but I loved basketball too much to risk sitting on the bench my entire college career. Luckily, the right school came up and I finally changed my thought-process.

Emory University is located in downtown Atlanta and is one of the best schools in the world.  I had heard about it my junior year, but did not think much about it and never had a chance to visit. Coach Kelly at IMG asked me about Emory around March and said he would talk to the coach about me. I was somewhat interested at the time, but once I visited, I realized how incredible of a place it was. The campus was amazing, and the athletic facilities were top-notch. Coach (Jason) Zimmerman, Emory’s head coach, is a great person and truly cares about his players. The basketball team was ranked in the top ten for Division III this year, and I now feel we have a chance at winning a national championship.

It is such a relief to finally know where I am going school. It is even better knowing that I will have a chance to play significant minutes as soon as I get there and will have a big impact on the team. So many people get caught up in wanting to go Division I without realizing everything that can go wrong, and everything that it entails.  Some teammates of mine going DI have to go straight from IMG to their college and only get around a month off to go home.  On top of that, there is always the risk of not playing, being recruited over next year, and transferring. I may not be “D1 bound,” but I am going to the one of the best schools in the world, I will be in one of the greatest cities in the world, and I will be competing for a national championship.

I would like to thank everyone who got me to this point. My parents always encouraged and supported me through everything aspect of this decision, even when I doubted myself.  My grandparents always gave me important advice and reminded me who I could be. My teammates at CBC and IMG helped push me to get better every day and were great friends. All of my High School and IMG coaches, Coach Mahoney, Coach Tatum, Coach Botkin, and Coach Kelly would constantly reach out to schools for me and taught me so many things about the game. Both Drew Hanlen and Corey Frazier trained with me and helped me improve to a much higher level. My AAU coach, Mike Martin, worked with me when I first started playing basketball, before I could dribble, pass, or shoot without using two hands. Without any of them and so many others, I would not be who I was today.

At the end of the day, getting a great education and a degree from a school like Emory will be much better for me in the future than just getting to say” I went D1”.  I am extremely excited for this opportunity, and thankful that Coach Zimmerman and Emory University have given me such a great opportunity. Going to Emory gives me the ability to have an even greater impact on the world and those around me.

Have a story about your recruiting journey that you’d like to share? Email stlprepsemail@gmail.com

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