Highlands sophomore Crise receives offer from Robert Morris

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018 | 11:33 AM


Johnny Crise showed high-flying abilities for Highlands’ boys basketball team in 2017-18, and now the sophomore’s recruiting profile is rising.

Crise picked up his first collegiate scholarship offer Tuesday from Robert Morris.

“It feels amazing that 14 years, 15 years of hard work have finally paid off,” Crise said. “It’s definitely an eye-opener. I’m only a sophomore, so the only way I can go is up. I’m excited for what these two years can bring.”

As a sophomore, the 6-foot-7, 175-pound Crise averaged 10.1 points to help Highlands reach the WPIAL Class 5A semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals, showing off his leaping abilities with prodigious dunks.

But he’s beginning to draw national attention after recently joining the ITPS Wildcats AAU program. ITPS recently was accepted into the adidas Gauntlet Gold Division in national AAU competition, and Crise competed with his 16-and-under team in a Gauntlet event last weekend in Indianapolis.

The Robert Morris offer came in after the Indianapolis competition.

“The experience was great,” Crise said. “Just coaches everywhere, (and) there’s great talent in every game you’re playing. You’ve got to hold your head high and just try your hardest and play your best.”

In addition to receiving the Robert Morris offer, Crise took his first unofficial visit last week to Duquesne. He’s seeking to become Highlands’ first Division I recruit since Micah Mason, a 2012 graduate who played at Drake and Duquesne.

Crise said he’s working on improving his ball-handling and shooting, as well as adding some muscle to his frame.

“At the next level, who knows — I might be a guard,” he said. “You’ve always got to be ready for that. I’m pretty sure I’ve got the post game in. I’ve got the athletic ability, too. I just need to top it off with the skills now, work on dribbling and shooting. You’ve got to be able to shoot the 3.”

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

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