Aaron Nesmith Porter-Gaud

Porter-Gaud's Aaron Nesmith had more than 40 scholarship offers. (Photo provided by Porter-Gaud)

Porter-Gaud senior guard Aaron Nesmith, considered one of the state’s top basketball prospects, ended his recruiting on Tuesday with a verbal commitment to Vanderbilt.

Nesmith had narrowed his choices down to Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Florida. The 6-5 swingman received more than 40 scholarship offers.

“I was starting to stress out a little about getting it done so I focused the last few weeks on making a decision,” Nesmith said. “I could not have made a bad decision. All of the final seven schools were great opportunities. I just felt Vanderbilt had the whole package. I know with the education I will set myself up for life after basketball and I feel I can reach my dream of playing in the NBA.”

Nesmith is a two-time Lowcountry player of the year and has helped lead the Cyclones to consecutive SCISA Class AAA state championships. He averaged 19.1 points per game last season and will be a fourth-year varsity starter this season.

“I’m looking forward to taking the next step,” Nesmith said. “This is a dream come true for me. I’m glad that it’s out of the way so my focus now is on winning another state championship for Porter-Gaud.”

Porter-Gaud coach John Pearson said Vanderbilt was a good fit for Nesmith on and off the court.

“I’m really excited for Aaron and his family,” Pearson said. “I know the last couple of weeks have been tough on Aaron because he was having a tough time picking between those last three schools. What's amazing is that Aaron wasn’t really on a lot of people’s radar until this summer. He want from not having a whole lot of interest to getting 40 scholarship offers in the matter of a few months.”

Teammate Jake Lanford, a 6-9 center, made his verbal commitment to Yale on Monday. Lanford, who averaged 11.7 points and 11.1 rebounds per game last season, also will be a fourth-year varsity starter for Porter-Gaud.

Lanford chose Yale over William & Mary after fielding more than 20 offers.

“I really like the opportunities at Yale, both athletically and academically,” Lanford said. “I had a lot of great schools offer me and I appreciate that. Yale just seems like the best fit in every area and I am excited to be a part of their program.”

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