One of the top guards in the St. Louis area is headed to the Missouri Valley Conference.
Westminster Christian’s Aaron Cook gave a verbal commitment to Southern Illinois University on Friday. A 6’2″ senior point guard, Cook chose SIU over Central Michigan and Ohio University. The close proximity between St. Louis and Carbondale was a big selling point in Cook’s final decision.
“The main reason I chose to go to SIU is because it’s close to home,” Cook said. “Ohio and Central Michigan were quite a ways away while SIU was closer to home and would give me family an opportunity to come down and see me play.”
Cook also built a strong relationship with the entire Salukis’ coaching staff, especially head coach Barry Hinson, who took the lead role in Cook’s recruitment.
“I’ve spoken to every coach over the phone more than once, but none more than Coach Hinson himself,” Cook said. “I could tell Coach Hinson wanted me to be apart of this program more than anyone and for the head coach to want me as much as he did was a special feeling. I also felt comfortable with the guys that are on the team now. They made me feel at home and they made me feel as if I were with my friends back home.”
In Cook, the Salukis are getting an exciting young point guard with electric handles, lock down defensive ability and an improved jump shot. As a junior, Cook averaged 16.3 points to lead Westminster Christian to a 24-6 record and a berth in the Class 4 state quarterfinals. Cook spent the summer playing with the Gateway Basketball Club 17U team.
Cook is the second player from the St. Louis metro area to commit to Southern Illinois. He joins Belleville Althoff’s Brendan Gooch, who committed to SIU during the summer.
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