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Highland small forward Jake Toolson commits to BYU

Posted by on February 20, 2013 – 7:33 pm

Jake Toolson probably could have gone on the club basketball circuit this spring and picked up several more scholarship offers.

But when you’re already bleeding blue, what’s the point?

The Highland junior small forward verbally committed to BYU on Tuesday, continuing a family tradition of playing for the Cougars. Toolson’s uncle, Danny Ainge, was an All-American for the school and his dad’s cousin, Andy Toolson, also starred there. His cousin, Cooper Ainge, is currently a redshirt freshman with the team.

“Growing up I always wanted to play there,” Toolson said. “It was a big day for me (with the commitment). You could say it was my dream school.”

Toolson averaged 18.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Hawks this year, leading them to an 18-10 record and a berth in the Division I state tournament. He had scholarship offers from Arizona State, Boston College, Saint Mary’s, Utah State and others.

Toolson’s profile was rising but he said showing his commitment to the Cougars was more important than getting more attention.

“I wanted to get it out of the way,” he said. “It’s the school I’ve always wanted to go to, so why wait? I’m not about getting offers and publicity.”

Toolson plans to serve a two-year church mission, but he hasn’t yet decided if he will play a year for BYU and then take the time off or leave immediately after high school.

A Brigham Young assistant was on hand for his 26-point, 11-rebound performance against Dobson at the MLK Basketball Classic on Jan. 21, and head coach Dave Rose was in attendance when he scored 27 points and hauled down nine rebounds against Red Mountain on Jan. 29.

Toolson was offered a scholarship soon after, and once he had time to think about it after the season ended, made the pledge to BYU.

“Yesterday it just felt right,” he said.

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