Valparaiso University head men's basketball coach Homer Drew announced that Jarryd Loyd of Niles West High School in Skokie, Ill. and Aris Williams of Georgetown Preparatory School in Washington D.C. have signed national letters of intent to attend Valpo and play basketball.
Loyd, a 5'11", 170-pound point guard, earned All-Central Suburban South Conference honors as a junior after helping Niles West to a 23-6 record and its first conference title in 27 years. A Second Team All-Area selection by the Chicago Sun-Times, Loyd averaged 15 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 2002-03. Loyd also garnered Special Mention All-State recognition from the Chicago Tribune as Niles West won its regional and advanced to the sectional final. As a sophomore, Loyd also started at point guard.
"It's a great opportunity for Jarryd," Niles West head coach Dave Genis said. "He will be playing for a great person and experienced coach in Homer Drew, who has taken a team to the Sweet 16 and won numerous conference championships. Plus, Valpo plays a great schedule year-in-and-year-out.
"With Jarryd, Valpo got a steal," Genis added. "He's lightening quick, sees the floor well and is a wonderful young man."
Williams, a 6'9", 210-pound forward, is playing for one of the nation's top teams as Georgetown Prep is ranked #13 in the East, according to USAhoops.com. Last summer, he averaged 18.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists while playing for D.C. Assault, an AAU team. As a junior, Williams averaged 7.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in helping Georgetown Prep to a 20-5 record. The 2002-03 season was Williams first at Georgetown Prep.
"Aris is the best small forward in the country that people haven't seen," said Georgetown Prep head coach Dwayne Bryant, who starred at Georgetown University in the mid-to-late 1980s.
"He's probably one of the most versatile players I've seen in that he can play the shooting guard, small forward and power forward positions," Bryant added. "Aris has nice 3-point range on his jumper, is a good passer and rebounder, and can defend multiple positions.
"He really enjoyed his visit with Coach Drew and felt it was the right place for him," Bryant said. " Plus he liked the caliber and the challenging schedule Valpo plays."