ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure has received its first recruiting commitment for 2019 as Justin Winston, a 6-7 forward from West Orange, N.J., has signed a National Letter of Intent with the Bonnies, Winston and St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt announced Wednesday.
Winston graduated from Immaculate Conception (N.J.) High and is now enrolled at Putnam (Conn.) Science Academy. Current St. Bonaventure freshmen Osun Osunniyi and Kyle Lofton played at Putnam last season, helping the Mustangs win the national prep school championship. Putnam is off to a 5-0 start this season.
Winston is a four-star rated recruit by ESPN and received three stars from Rivals and 247 Sports.
As a high school senior, Winston averaged 15 points per game. Immaculate Conception reached the state Class B private school semifinals and finished 16-7 against a highly competitive schedule.
Winston's AAU team was the NJ Playaz Club.
"We're fortunate that Justin has committed to us and we are really excited about it," Schmidt said. "He is an Atlantic 10-ready player who has played against high-level competition and will get even better playing at Putnam this year. He is a combo forward who is athletic and skilled. He can handle the ball, he is strong and physical and is well-coached. He already has a good relationship with our guys, mainly Kyle (Lofton) and Osun (Osunniyi). Justin will fit in our program very well."
Winston will join a St. Bonaventure program that has won at least 20 games the last three years, topped by a school record 26 wins in 2017-18 when the Bonnies advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Senior forwards LaDarien Griffin and Courtney Stockard along with guard Nelson Kaputo will graduate in May.
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