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Brandon Gardner: This is Why I Chose St. John’s

Gardner picked the Red Storm over Florida, Alabama, Kansas, Georgetown and Georgia Tech.

Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) forward Brandon Gardner is one of the top prospects in the 2023 class and currently serving as an intricate piece for Boo Williams (Va.) in the prestigious Nike EYBL. Gardner wrote an exclusive blog with SI to announce his commitment to St. John’s breaking down his decision and the thought process behind it.

I am extremely excited that I’m officially committed to St. John’s University.

For me, it was all about the coaching staff, their style of play and it’s in the Big Apple. I really wanted to play in the biggest market for a great program with a lot of history, great coaches and the best fans in the country.

Just being in New York City is going to open me up to so many things on and off the court. There are a lot of good NIL opportunities there. I feel like the way I play, with all the dunks and things like that, I’ll be able to attract a lot of situations.

I’ll be honest, this decision wasn’t easy.

I was close with a lot of coaches at different schools and they were coming at me really hard, but, in the end, I knew that Coach (Mike) Anderson and Coach (Van) Macon were the guys that could get me to where I wanted to be.

I’m telling you guys; Coach Macon is the best recruiter in the world. We got really close and connected on a lot of levels.

St. John's basketball coach Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson is getting a versatile utility forward in Brandon Gardner.

When I knew for sure, I got coach on FaceTime and they were super excited about everything. I think they knew that I was eventually gonna come.

What they said that they like most about my game is my versatility; I switch on guards, I play bigs, I’m making shots now and I’m still dunking on people.

My goal is to play like a senior and step in and be a leader. I know that this is the best platform for me to become the player that I want to be, so I’m all in.

I know I said Coach Macon was the top recruiter, but now I’m planning to turn into a big-time recruiter too.

A couple of guys that I’m planning to reach out to are Brandon Williams, Isaiah Collier, Mikey Williams, and a few others. I want to win a national title at St. John’s so I want to bring in the top class so we can get it done.

It’s a big relief to have this over and done with. I’ve been wanting to commit for a while.

The one thing people don’t get about this process is how hard it is to disappoint people. Like I said, you get so close with all of these coaches; they become your friends. Then you realize that you want to go to another school, and you have to say goodbye to your friend. It’s tough, but it’s part of the business.

OK, that’s all I’ve got for you guys. I hope you got a good idea of what went into my decision.

Thanks for reading. Also, I want to say thanks to all the St. John’s fans for all of the support they’ve been giving me, and I can’t wait to come there and go hard for you guys.

I got y’all.

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