It was crunch time – again – for Lincoln High School’s Ahmaad Rorie.
With the clock ticking down – the signing period for 2014 was set to expire Wednesday – the Abes’ point guard made one final life-changing decision, all while keeping his cool.
Three weeks after asking for his release from California, Rorie announced Thursday in his home high school gymnasium that he would remain in the Pac-12, choosing to sign with Oregon over Washington.
Rorie took trips to the UW, Washington State University and Oregon, which was the final one. He visited the Ducks’ campus Wednesday. That night, he signed to play for coach Dana Altman and his staff.
“The main thing that sold me was the coaches,” said Rorie, who had scholarship offers from those three schools, as well as Missouri, Memphis, Wichita State and Arizona State. “Every coach on the staff I like and I feel like I can really have a good relationship with going forward.”
The decision should come as no surprise. After he was released from Cal earlier this month, he already knew he was going to visit Oregon.
Rorie remains close to Cal assistant Travis DeCuire, who was a recent finalist for the Oregon State job. DeCuire gave the Abes’ standout a thorough scouting report about the Ducks’ program, including style of play, facilities and apparel.
That didn’t discourage two important figures in his life from trying to sway him in a different direction.
Cousin David Crisp, a UW signee, tried getting Rorie to sign with the Huskies. And DaVonte Lacy, the star guard at WSU and a mentor to Rorie, encouraged him to come to Pullman.
“I wanted to stay close to home,” Rorie said, “but did not want to be in Washington.”
On Thursday, many on the Abes’ basketball team, Crisp, Lacy, and AAU coach Garry Ward, of the Northwest Panthers, were in attendance for his announcement.
Rorie was flanked at the table by Lincoln coach Aubrey Shelton on one side, and his grandparents, John and Brenda Campbell, on the other side.
As he was ready to reveal his decision, Rorie reached underneath the table and pulled out a yellow Oregon hat and placed it on his head.
All just in time.