Armwood discusses commitment to Villanova
At Isaiah Armwood’s lowest basketball-playing moment, the Villanova coaching staff was there for him.
In a January matchup between Armwood’s Montrose Christian squad and Jericho Christian, Armwood elevated to the hoop but was undercut on the way down. He landed awkwardly and could barely walk. The 6-foot-9, 195-pounder and Woodlawn native was rushed to the hospital where he received his diagnosis -- a sprained MCL.
“I was in the hospital just waiting for my results and [the Villanova coaches] actually called my phone and asked if I was OK,” Armwood said. “It was my first serious injury and I really didn’t know what to do. ... They just let me know they were there for me. [They said], ‘Keep your head up and everything. We’re here for you if you need it.’”
Armwood admitted the Wildcats were “the leaders from day one,” but the Villanova staff’s support during that difficult time stood out. He rewarded Villanova head coach Jay Wright with a verbal commitment Tuesday, picking the Wildcats over Syracuse and Texas.
“I got to know [the coaches] really well,” Armwood said. “When I was injured, they were really concerned, and I knew I could really depend on them if anything went wrong. I knew I could turn to them.”
Armwood, a four-star player and the No. 43 prospect in the class of 2009 according to Rivals.com, said he appreciated the honesty of Wright throughout his recruitment.
“He’s a good guy, a cool dude,” Armwood said. “I can relate to him on a lot of levels. If you ask him something, you might not like it, but he’s going to tell you. He’s not going to feed you a bunch of crap.”
Another attraction for Armwood was the style of play at Villanova and in the Big East, a conference he’s grown up favoring.
“I’ve always liked the Big East because they’re tough and get after it,” Armwood said. “And at Villanova they really get after it. ... They have a lot of guys leaving at the forward and guard positions. They’re going to have me everywhere on the court, the way they run their offense. I’ll be doing a little bit of everything.”
Armwood’s not playing much AAU ball this summer. He opted out of USA Basketball’s U-18 trials to focus on summer school. But he says he’s healed from his injury and ready to come back strong for Montrose Christian come fall.
“[Recruiting] was just overwhelming because I never expected my basketball would take me this far ...” Armwood said. “[Committing to Villanova means] it’s just one less thing I’ve got to worry about going into my senior year.”