After a strong summer on the grassroots circuit, Morgan Park senior center Tamell Pearson committed to UAB on Monday afternoon.
The 6-foot-10 Pearson was a role player for the IHSA Class 3A state champion Mustangs during his junior season, but he saw his recruiting stock explode over the last several months thanks to his improved play with the Mac Irvin Fire in the Nike EYBL.
Although high-major programs like Illinois, Oklahoma State and Washington State had offered Pearson scholarships over the summer, the big man opted for UAB, a Conference USA school that has competed for NCAA tournament berths over the last several years.
"I picked UAB because of the family feel and the great opportunity to be successful," Pearson told CSN.
UAB has done a nice job of developing bouncy senior forward William Lee as he's become an NBA prospect after three productive seasons with the Blazers. By landing a commitment from another athletic big man in Pearson, UAB is hoping to mold him into another productive player.
While UAB might not seem like a typical school for a Chicago kid to attend, the commitment of Pearson signifies that the Blazers will be a major factor when it comes to recruiting area talent. Chicago-area native Kevin Devitt, an assistant coach at UAB, was the lead recruiter for Pearson as head coach Rob Ehsan has made the Chicagoland area a major recruiting priority for the school.
Pearson should be one of the area's premier big men this season as he'll be one of the key returning players at Morgan Park. With star guard Ayo Dosunmu also returning, the Mustangs will have a chance the be the preseason No. 1 team in the CSN Preps Power Rankings later this year.