By Sam Bush
Temple may have lost out on Jalen Brunson, the son of one Owl alum, but on Tuesday it signed another son of North Broad Street for the Class of 2015.
Haverford senior guard Levan Alston, Jr. (left in photo above with his dad) gave his verbal commitment to basketball coach Fran Dunphy and the Owls in a press conference on Tuesday morning, joining AAU teammate and close friend Trey Lowe as Temple commitments for next fall.
Wearing a hoodie as he sat down at the podium, Alston stood up and unzipped his sweatshirt to reveal a Cherry & White jersey, worn by his father Levan Alston, Sr., the same number 10 the younger Alston wears at the Haverford School.
“I wanted to be close to home, so everybody could come support me and watch see me play,” Alston said at the press conference. “I’m from North Philly, so it doesn’t get any better than that.”
A 6-foot-4, 185-pound combo guard, Alston picked Temple over offers from Penn State and Virginia Commonwealth; Marquette, Notre Dame and Penn were also in his final six before he narrowed things down earlier this month.
His last official visit of the three was to Penn State this past weekend, but it wasn’t enough to convince Alston to leave Philadelphia. Instead, he’ll be playing at the same school his father played for his last two years of college after transferring from New Orleans back in 1993.
“I look up to him, he’s my favorite player, so to put on his number 10, it means a lot,” Alston said. “I’m from North Philly and Temple’s in North Philly, I always wanted to grow up and play in the Big 5, so it means a lot to play at Temple.”
A final meeting with Dunphy the day before his decision sealed the deal.
“I had a meeting with coach Dunphy after school, and last night I talked to my dad about it, and I was pretty sure probably about 5 o’clock last night,” Alston said. “Me and [Dunphy] have a great relationship, and he just put the icing on the cake yesterday when we were talking.”
The elder Alston, a Simon Gratz grad, played in high school and college with former Temple guard and current Owl coach Aaron McKie. His son isn’t the first offspring of a Temple player to consider following his father to school this offseason, but Jalen Brunson chose Villanova over offers from Illinois, Temple and others a few weeks ago.