Warwick grad to play for NIT basketball all-stars in Europe

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:49

    SUGAR LOAF - You could call Warwick Valley High School graduate Jason Boone a gambling man. When he graduated in 2003, he was only 17. That meant most Division I colleges that were recruiting him to play basketball wanted him to red shirt as a freshman or attend prep school. But Boone wanted to play ball. And New York University, a Division III program, was waiting with open arms. Now the sophomore forward has been selected to play for the National Invitation Tournament All-Star Basketball Team, which will begin competition in Europe later this month. Boone averaged 10.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for the Violets last season, led the squad with 43 blocks, and shot a team-best .612 (120-196) from the field. His two-year field goal percentage of .613 (230-375) is the highest in NYU history. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Jason," said NYU head coach Joe Nesci. "To compete with and against players at the highest level, and to have an opportunity to travel around the world is a unique experience. We are proud that Jason is representing NYU in such a prestigious venture." The NIT squad will play against four teams in London from June 24-27, then travel to Ireland and play three teams in Limerick from June 30-July 1. Boone is the first NYU player ever to be selected for the team and will be the only NCAA Division III player on the roster. Others selected to play include the 2004-05 Division I scoring champion Keydren Clark of St. Peter's College, as well as Jason Wingate of Manhattan College, Donnie McGrath of Providence College and Steve Novak of Marquette University. "NYU stimulated my mind and is competitive enough for me to play here," said Boone. "I am having a great time here in Manhattan. I love the coaching staff. It is perfect here." Boone's gamble might end up paying off as he is considered to be one of the front-runners to secure the Division III Player of the Year next season. "You take a chance on where you go to college," said Boone. "By choosing NYU I knew my chances to play pro ball were slimmer. I hope that when I graduate, Coach Nesci and I can talk about where I can play next." Boone is a communications major and is the son of Greg and Angela Boone of Sugar Loaf.