CHICAGO (CBS) — Amari Bailey, 13, won’t graduate high school until 2022 but he’s already announced on Instagram he’s made a verbal commitment to play for DePaul University.
“We went on an unofficial visit and Amari just decided it was right,” said Bailey’s mother Johanna Edelberg.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: When Might Your $1,400 Economic Relief Payment Arrive?
Edelberg said she’s proud of her son’s decision and is happy he’ll be close to home.
“I wanted him to go where he wants to go, it didn’t matter to me, but I think from a business standpoint, from a basketball standpoint, it’s a strong move. I was shocked and proud at the same time he already knew what he wanted.”
Making a non-binding commitment this early is rare, but not unheard of. Bailey can’t officially sign until his junior year of high school.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Illinois: 1,182 New Coronavirus Cases, 5 More Deaths; Lowest One-Day Death Toll Since September
“Tim Anderson was his trainer. Now he’s the assistant coach at DePaul. That made all the difference. The biggest thing for Amari is to have a solid team around. I think that since he knows the assistant coach so well, and he’s built a relationship over the years trusting his judgement and working for a head coach kind solidified the deal for Amari,” she said.
Bailey is going to be an 8th grader at Skinner West Elementary School this Fall but still hasn’t decided on a high school.
“He’s mentioned Whitney Young, Fenwick and a few other ones he’s interested in. Still no decision yet.”
Bailey, a 6-foot-2 guard, is no stranger to the spotlight. He is one of five Chicago-area athletes and their mothers featured in Lifetime’s “Bringing up Ballers.”MORE NEWS: Park District Spring Program Sign Up Starts Monday
“He’s very mature for his age, but Amari’s just a kid. I think the next five years it matters in terms of his environment. There are no detours or sidetracks, there are a lot of pressures in high school. It’s important that he remains focused.”