A very special St. Louis area basketball class of 2016 started to sign official letters of intent last week in the November early period. Among the large number of area players heading for a Division I home next fall is Westminster Christian Academy’s Aaron Cook. The senior guard took us inside the factors that will send him to Carbondale to play for Southern Illinois.
“The top three schools I was most interested in were Central Michigan University, Ohio University, and SIU. My decision came down to my relationship with the coaches, my relationship with the players, and how close the school was to my family. At all three schools I was very pleased with the relationship I had with the coaching staffs. However, it was evident that SIU wanted me to be apart of their program more than anything. They would call me consistently throughout the week and ask me how things were going, they were at every open gym, and most importantly, Coach Hinson himself would call me more than any other coach. To have the head coach call me the most was a special feeling and I took that into account when making my decision. The players were also a huge factor in my decision. They made me feel as if I were with my friends back at home and I felt comfortable with them the entire time I had been with them.
Lastly, SIU was more convenient for my family. Ohio U. and CMU are both a good 7-8 hours away while SIU is only 2 hours away. I knew that my family would want to see me play and now that I have committed to SIU they are able to do so. I would like to thank St. Louis Gateway Basketball Club for bringing me in and allowing me to showcase my abilities which helped me to pick up my offer from SIU and 3 other great offers. I would also like to thank Brandon Gilmore for helping me to grow as a player and speaking on my behalf to many college coaches since my 15u AAU season. Lastly, I would like to thank God for such a wonderful opportunity to go on and play at the next level and the blessings that He has granted me through this game.”
Cook becomes the first DI men’s basketball signee in Westminster history. He joins Althoff Catholic guard Brendon Gooch as part of SIU’s 2016 class.