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Former Cooper basketball player Sean McNeil being recruited by several elite major college teams

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Two college basketball teams that reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament are recruiting former Cooper High School player Sean McNeil after his impressive season in junior college.

Oregon and Texas Tech are among the six teams that McNeil is considering after getting scholarship offers from numerous Division I programs. The 6-foot-4 guard commanded the attention of college recruiters by averaging 29.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists for Sinclair Community College in Ohio.

Sean McNeil, left, had the second highest scoring average in the National Junior College Athletic Association.

On March 20, McNeil posted on Twitter the six major college teams that he’s interested in. The list also includes West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Mississippi and Dayton.

In a text message, McNeil said he has already made a recruiting visit to Dayton and he’s working on scheduling visits to the other five colleges.

“I’m not exactly sure when I plan to make my (final) decision just yet.” he said.

McNeil has three years of college eligibility remaining after finishing his freshman season at Sinclair with the second highest scoring average in the National Junior College Athletic Association.

He was named Player of the Year in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference for leading the Sinclair team to a 19-13 record and the second round of the District 11 playoffs.

After earning all-state honors as a senior guard on Cooper’s state runner-up team in 2017, McNeil accepted a basketball scholarship from Bellarmine University in Louisville, one of the nation’s top NCAA Division II programs. But he came home a few days after the first semester started and never returned to campus.

He resumed his basketball career at Sinclair after talking with head coach Jeff Price, who has placed more than 50 student-athletes in four-year colleges during his 15 years at the community college.

During the season, coach Price told a sports reporter that McNeil was drawing more attention from major college coaches and recruiters than any junior college player he has seen in his career.

The freshman guard scored 30 points or more in 15 games and set Sinclair team records for most points in a game (55), most points in a season (921) and highest scoring average (29.7). He ended up shooting 49.5 percent (296 or 598) from the field overall, 43.1 percent (132 of 306) from 3-point range and 87.6 percent (197 of 225) at the free throw line.

“I was kind of opposed to it at first,” McNeil said of playing on the junior college level. “I wanted to be in a program where I’d spend the rest of my career. But it’s actually been a really good experience for me.”

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