Ellet rising senior A.J. Gareri plans to take his sharp-shooting abilities to Ohio University next year and play basketball on scholarship for the Bobcats.



Gareri, who is 6-foot-9 and 210-pounds, said he has pledged to Ohio U over scholarship offers from Kent State, Toledo, Bowling Green and American University.



“I really love the way they play and I have a great relationship with all of the coaches,” Gareri said. “I think I will be a great fit there.”



Gareri, 18, said OU’s coaching staff, led by Saul Phillips, envisions him on the court as “a stretch 4 [power forward] that can play the wing occasionally.”



“This is an awesome opportunity for my family and I to not have to pay for college,” Gareri said. “This saves my parents a lot of money.”



Gareri was named the City Series Player of the Year as a junior after he averaged just over 22 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks, three assists and two steals per game. Ellet finished third in the City Series this past season behind champion Firestone and second-place Buchtel.



Gareri also contributed to Ellet’s City Series championship team as a sophomore that topped Buchtel, and to the Orangemen team that finished second to the Griffins when he was a freshman.



Ellet coach Mark Fisher, who is an uncle of Gareri’s, said he recalls watching Gareri learn to play basketball “at age 5 or 6 in the Ellet Youth Basketball Instructional League.”



“A.J. really liked the coaches at most of the schools,” Fisher said. “It was a hard decision for him, but I think he made a great decision. He really liked the campus, the staff, the facilities and the system that they run at Ohio.



“I am excited for A.J. as his uncle and coach. This is a real good thing for our program. As a coach, it’s great that we have all of these college coaches coming in and seeing our program. As a family member, I always wish the best for him and love him. He has worked hard from Day 1 and I am very proud of him.”



Gareri said he has a 3.3 grade-point average and is undecided on a college major.