Alabama excited about Jahvon Quinerly, optimistic he can play this season

Christopher Walsh

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — He didn’t have a jersey number, but was the player who drew the most attraction Wednesday afternoon.

With the University of Alabama men’s basketball program holding a youth clinic and subsequent practice that was open to reporters at Coleman Coliseum, sophomore transfer Jahvon Quinerly was playing with his future teammates.

But he did not sport his No. 13, per the Crimson Tide roster.

Alabama is in the process of putting together a waiver request so the former 5-star prospect who initially played college ball at Villanova won’t have to sit during the 2019-20 season.

“He went through a lot personally and his family went through a lot,” new coach Nate Oats said. “He just needed a fresh start.”

As a recruit, Quinerly originally committed to Arizona, but changed his mind after the FBI’s high-profile corruption investigation went public.

Although he was eventually cleared by the probe, speculation about his recruitment still followed him to Villanova, where the former McDonald’s All-American averaged just 3.2 points and 9.1 minutes per game while dealing with numerous injuries.

Because of what he went through, Alabama is optimistic that Quinerly might get an exemption making him eligible to play immediately.

However, the school is not optimistic that a decision will be made quickly.

“That would help us out a lot, especially with having Kira,” teammates John Petty Jr. said, alluding to how it allow Alabama to have two standout point guards on the floor with sophomore Kira Lewis Jr.

“He’s amazing,” Petty added. “He’s going to fit in real well with the team, with his ball-handling, his shooting and his skills. Getting to know him these last few weeks has been real fun.”

For this particular practice the team was split into crimson and white sides for drills. With his parents on hand, as they’re helping Alabama form its request, Quinerly was the point guard on the crimson side along with freshman guard Juwan Gary, junior forward Galin Smith, redshirt freshman Javian Davis-Fleming and Petty, a junior guard.

Alabama was without three players as graduate guard Beetle Bolden and junior forward James Rojas are taking summer classes and Lewis is currently with the USA U19 Team.

Oats also announced junior forward Alex Reese had a minor knee procedure after last season, but is already back to full strength.