The weekend is off to a good start for USC athletics. Friday afternoon the Gamecock basketball program picked up a commitment for the 2015 class from 6-9, 240 Chris Silva, a native of Gabon, Africa who attends Roselle Catholic School in New Jersey. Silva picked the Gamecocks over Seton Hall and Rhode Island, the other two schools he visited. He also considered Kansas State and Villanova.
After thanking his family, coaches and the schools that recruited him Silva reached into a paper bag and pulled out a Gamecock baseball cap as he announced his decision. The announcement comes on his 18th birthday.
“It’s a great school and coaches,” Silva said during his press conference. “”I like everything about it. The education. The support they give to players after their career. Everything.”
Martin met with Silva last night but he had already made up his mind to join the Gamecocks by then. “I”m just excited to go there,” Silva said. “I look forward to playing with all those players. I can see them like good teammates and I’m excited to be there around them.”
Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff has close ties to the USC staff, in particular with assistant coach Matt Figger, and said the chance to play early in a major conference like the SEC was a big attraction to Silva.
“The biggest factor in the final decision to go to South Carolina was the opportunity to compete in the SEC day in and day out,” Boff said. “He wanted to play with great players, he wanted to play against great players and he wanted to be in a place where he thought he would really develop to his fullest potential. He thought that South Carolina offered the best of those three things.”
Silva averaged 9 points and 10 rebounds per game last season and Boff feels he’s only scratched the surface of his talents.
“They are going to get one of the elite athletes in the country,” Boff said. “Chris is as good a run and jump athlete as there is in the country, especially at 6-9, 240. They are also going to get a player that’s developing his skills on the perimeter. He can step out and shoot it to 22 feet an also handles the ball pretty well for a kid of his size. Overall they are getting a kid that’s going to have a bright future.”
Silva is the Gamecocks’ first commitment for the 2015 class.