Eric Paschall joined Elton Brand, Ben Gordon and Jabarie Hinds as the only juniors ever to earn Section 1’s “Mr. Basketball,” but, unlike those three, he won’t be around to repeat.
The Dobbs Ferry product announced on Twitter Thursday night that he will leave to enroll at St. Thomas More, a prep-school basketball power in Oakdale, Conn. The 6-foot-6 rising senior finalized the decision earlier Thursday and informed Dobbs Ferry coach Scott Patrillo Thursday afternoon.
“Me and the family thought about what’s best for our son,” Paschall’s father, Juan, said. “And what’s best for him is to play against the best competition.”
Paschall made his verbal commitment to Fordham this spring after averaging 26.0 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game as a junior. He led Dobbs Ferry on the brink of a Section 1 championship, but the Eagles fell in overtime to Our Lady of Lourdes in the Class B final.
“We’re sad to see him go,” Patrillo said. “You coach a kid for three years; he’s a big part of your team and your program. He’s a special player. We told Eric and his family that we only want what’s best for him and his family. We hope that if St. Thomas More is the best place for him, he continues to grow as a player and as a person.”
Rumors had circulated that Paschall had considered transferring elsewhere, including Catholic schools in the CHSAA, but Juan Paschall said they were false.
“Prep school is preparing him to get ready for college,” Juan Paschall said. “I feel I would be doing hm a disservice if I didn’t send him.”
Paschall’s father said as of now his son, who is just 16, will enter St. Thomas More as a senior and will not reclassify as a junior.