Hometown hero: Scotty the Bear Jr. commits to UCR basketball

Cameron Yong/HIGHLANDER
Cameron Yong/HIGHLANDER

After months of grueling anticipation, the country’s No. 1 basketball recruit has officially made his decision. Last Thursday afternoon, 8’4” center Scotty the Bear Jr. announced his intent to join the reigning national champion UC Riverside Highlanders.

The announcement came from a Tweet by Scotty Jr., which stated: “#UCR baby! It was a hard decision, but I’m ready to bring another championship back to Riverside!”

Scotty Jr.’s signing comes as a relief to the Highlanders, coming off the heels of a championship season but set to lose a number of key starters to graduation.

A Riverside native, Scotty Jr. feels as though he owes it to his city to play the role of hometown hero.

“It just feels right for me, man. You know, I feel like the Riverside community has just done so much for me and it’s time for me to give back. I just wanna be the next Lebron James. If I’m gonna backstab my hometown, it’ll be when I go to the pros,” stated Scotty Jr.

Averaging over 50 points, 30 rebounds, 13 blocks and 5 steals per game, Scotty Jr. set school records in every statistical category at Martin Luther King High School, making him the most sought-after high school recruit in recent memory.

Scouts and coaches across the country have sung high praises of Scotty Jr.’s play. One college scout defined his play style as “not even human,” with another stating that “he’s an animal out there on the court.”

The news of Scotty Jr.’s commitment was met with widespread joy in the UCR community, including by those currently on the team.

Star senior point guard Norm the Navel expressed his excitement upon hearing of the news.

“I’m really happy about this. With me and a bunch of other guys graduating this year, I didn’t think there was any hope for UCR basketball’s future. After we got Scotty though, I feel like the only direction the program can go is up.”

The addition of Scotty Jr. to the UCR roster will give the team a paint presence it has missed since the days of legendary center Jaylor Tohns, and will surely bolster the Highlanders’ chances of defending their championship title this upcoming season.

At the conclusion of his press conference, Scotty Jr. emphasized his will to leave a lasting legacy at UCR.

“I wanna be a legend here, someone that people won’t forget when I leave. Maybe they’ll create a bench with a statue of me sitting on it or something like that,” he said.

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