St. John’s secures big commitment from Jaquan Sanders


St. John’s present appears bright and its future may be, too.

Just over five weeks after landing his highest-rated recruit since taking over in Queens three years ago, coach Mike Anderson picked up a verbal commitment from another highly regarded prospect.

Queens native Jaquan Sanders — a former high school teammate of current Johnnies Posh Alexander and Dylan Addae-Wusu at Our Saviour Lutheran in The Bronx — picked St. John’s over Seton Hall.

Providence, Auburn, Pittsburgh and Kansas State were among other schools that had been involved.

A three-star, top-150 recruit, Sanders joins four-star guard AJ Storr and point guard Kolby King in the Johnnies’ 2022 recruiting class. This season, St. John’s is projected to be one of the better teams in the Big East and is expected to reach the NCAA Tournament.

Jaquan Sanders dribbles during Our Saviour Lutheran’s game against Olympus (N.J.) on Jan. 22, 2021.
Robert Sabo

A 6-foot-3 shooting guard, Sanders has been a priority recruit for Anderson and his staff for quite some time. He took an official visit to St. John’s over the weekend, on the heels of his visit to Seton Hall.

The addition of Sanders continues Anderson and his staff’s ability to land local recruits, following Alexander, Addae-Wusu, current freshman Rafael Pinzon and Drissa Traore, and most notably Julian Champagnie, the Big East’s leading scorer last season. Assistant coach Van Macon was the lead recruiter for Sanders, as he has been for most of the local prospects St. John’s has landed.

Like Alexander, Sanders opted for St. John’s over local rival Seton Hall, and the presence of his close friend played a factor in his decision, according to sources. Unlike Alexander, the co-Big East Defensive player of the Year last season, Sanders’ is known more for his offense. He is a quality shooter and playmaker, capable of creating his own shot and making plays for others. Last season for Our Saviour Lutheran, he averaged 19 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals while shooting 39 percent from 3-point range and 44 percent from the field.

“He’s a good player,” a Division I coach familiar with Sanders said. “Better passer and playmaker than he is given credit for. Can be a good secondary ball-handler and decision-maker.”

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