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Tigers Sports

Linden senior commits to play basketball for St. Joseph's By JOHN HALEY

Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 by By JOHN HALEY

LINDEN —David Bruce, a 6-foot 9-inch, 210-pound senior on the Linden High School boys basketball team, has made a nonbinding commitment to attend St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia.

Bruce, who was dominating at times for the Tigers, averaged 15 points and close to 12 rebounds per game. A starter last year and a key reserve as a sophomore, Bruce helped lead the Tigers to a record of 53-10, a Union County Tournament title and a Group IV championship over that time.

Bruce received close to 10 scholarship offers — including Rutgers — and made his final choice over St. John's and Maryland.

"St. Joseph's put in the most work recruiting me,'' Bruce said. "I really loved the area, the school, the coaching staff. It's not too big, not too small. I feel a lot of pressure has been lifted, so now I can just concentrate on the season.''

Bruce becomes the second Linden player in two years to make a commitment to a Division I school as he joined former Player of the Year Desmond Wade, who is now at the University of Houston.

"This is the perfect fit for David,'' Linden coach Phil Colicchio said. "I'm very big on choosing the school who recruits you the hardest and that was St. Joseph's. They were there from day one and they were the first to offer. And I think Phil Martelli is one of the best coaches in America, so it's a really great choice for David.''

Bruce said he was not promised anything at St. Joseph's.

"As far as playing time, it's all up to me," Bruce said. "So I have to really work hard to show I belong and to fulfill a dream of playing in the NBA.''

St. Joseph is coming off a 21-13 season. The Hawks reached the Atlantic-10 title game for the third time in four years but lost to Oklahoma in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Last week, Martelli signed a four-year contract extension that will keep him with the Hawks through the 2015-16 season. Martelli is entering his 14th season. He has a 261-152 overall record and is 132-76 in the Atlantic-10 Conference.

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