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Grant adds another commitment for 2013

No, that's not a typo. I've explained before that basketball recruiting starts much earlier than football, and here's some evidence for you:

He still has two-and-a-half more years of high school basketball ahead of him, but Jaren Sina already knows where he’s playing in college.

The Gill St. Bernard’s sophomore made a non-binding commitment to University of Alabama coach Anthony Grant on Tuesday night. Sina, a point guard who is ranked as the No. 2 player in New Jersey’s Class of 2013 by N.J. Hoops, was being recruited by Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John’s and several other major Division I programs.

Hoops Haven: Gill's Jaren Sina verbals to Alabama

You always have to wonder about getting commitments from kids--a word that rings extra true in this case--this early. Who knows how good they'll really be 3 years from now when they're actually playing college basketball, and who knows how their minds might change in the 18 months before they're even allowed to sign. With that said, the odds of Sina panning out would seem pretty decent, seeing as he already had firm offers from 4 Big East schools and was getting a good deal of interest from the likes of Coach K. There's no guarantee he'll be great or that his commitment will stick for the next year and a half, but his recruitment at this early stage suggests the odds are pretty good that he'll be a special player, and his commitment to us, while not binding, certainly greatly increases the odds of him signing with us in November of 2012.

Sina will join yet another 2013 Alabama commit, 6'8" forward Shannon Hale of Johnson City, Tennessee. Hale committed this summer, after just his freshman year of high school basketball. The same caveats apply here as with Sina, but a kid who's already 6'8" at the end of his freshman year and athletic enough to get an offer from Bama and Tennessee among others is a pretty good indication that he'll be a viable D-1 basketball player down the road. Hale already got a 4-star rating from Rivals after just his freshman year.

We'll check back on these guys in a couple years, but for now just rest assured that Grant and staff are doing their due diligence in starting a pipeline of hoops talent into Tuscaloosa.