Adonis Delarosa is staying home after all.
The Christ the King High School boys basketball star revealed last Wednesday at a press conference at the Middle Village school that he will continue his playing career at St. John’s University in the fall.
With the decision, Delarosa becomes the first Queens product since former Forest Hills High School star Maurice Harkless in 2011 to choose the Johnnies out of high school.
Delarosa announced his choice by taking off his blue polo to reveal a white St. John’s T-shirt underneath.
He also took to Twitter to announce his college selection, originally scheduled for April 18.
“Next year,” Delarosa wrote, “I will be attending the University of St. John’s,” accompanied by a picture of him in St. John’s apparel posing in front of a Mercedes.
The senior proved himself to be an attractive commodity for interested college programs this past season.
Delarosa led his Middle Village high school to a fourth Catholic High School Athletic Association city championship in five years in March, as well as the school’s second straight New York State Federation Tournament title.
Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello said he isn’t surprised Delarosa chose to play for St. John’s, as his older brother, Joey, is already enrolled at the university and expects to begin playing for the Red Storm in December.
“I think he wanted to stay home. His brother is there, someone to lean on,” Arbitello said. “I think he knew where he wanted to go. It was a matter of him knowing it was the right thing.”
At the press conference, Delarosa said it was a decision he struggled with but that he’s excited to play for one of the most successful teams in NCAA history.
“There’s nothing better than playing and putting on for your city, and also, you get to play at the Garden,” Delarosa said. “It was by far the hardest decision I had to make.”
The University of South Carolina recruited Delarosa hard, and other schools such as Pittsburgh, Fordham and Wichita State also expressed interest in the center.
The decision to choose St. John’s comes somewhat as a surprise, as questions about the immediate future of the Red Storm basketball program swirl around this offseason.
The Johnnies lost two players over the last few weeks, as JaKarr Sampson declared for the NBA Draft and three-point specialist Max Hooper announced he is transferring to Oakland University.
St. John’s center Chris Obekpa, one of the nation’s best shot blockers, requested and was granted a transfer waiver from the school, but recent reports and Obekpa’s Twitter feed have indicated he is leaning toward staying with the Red Storm.
St. John’s point guard Phil Greene IV also teased a possible transfer from the university, but he announced his intention to return to the school on Twitter last week.
Arbitello said he believes Delarosa can succeed on the college level, as his older brother won’t let him fail.
“I think his brother is more of his role model,” he said. “If he doesn’t want to go to the gym, his brother is going to make him.”