East Catholic High School forward Matt Knowling made a verbal commitment Sunday to play basketball at Yale University for the 2020-21 season, based on admission to the university.
Knowling, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound forward, averaged 19 points, 13 rebounds and four assists for East Catholic, a Manchester school that won the CIAC Division I state championship last March and finished on top of the final Register/GameTimeCT boys basketball poll.
“I built a good relationship with the coaches,” Knowling said. “On top of that, they are a great basketball team that made the NCAA tournament last year. On top of that, Yale is one of the best academic schools in the world.”
The news was first reported by Adam Finkelstein, a scout/recruiting analyst for ESPN.
Knowling, an Ellington resident, said he received offers from Dartmouth, Brown, Bryant, Fairfield, Canisius, Binghamton and Central Connecticut State in addition to Yale.
Knowling, 17, said the offer from Yale came in February. He had his official visit this past weekend. Knowling said he wanted to commit before the season began.
“I love him (head coach James Jones),” Knowling said. “He has come and supported me at games in both AAU and high school. He has built a great program.”
In addition, Knowling said Jones signing an extension in the off-season through 2026 was a big reason in him committing to the Bulldogs’ program. Jones cannot comment on recruits by NCAA provisions until they sign a national letter of intent.
“Matt Knowling is an amazing player with his best basketball ahead of him,” East Catholic coach Luke Reilly said. “I’ve known Coach James Jones for over 25 years and he and his staff have done an incredible job building the program. The elite standards in all areas at Yale are a perfect fit for Matt.”
This makes three players from that East Catholic team to commit to Division I schools after the state championship. Jaylin Hunter, the Register/GameTimeCT State Player of the Year, is now at Old Dominion and fellow guard Joey Reilly is now at Holy Cross.