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N.J. shooting guard commits to Gamecocks

6-6 Steve Spinella of Apex Academy in Pennsauken, NJ officially committed to USC Friday. He made an official visit to USC earlier in the week and picked the Gamecocks over Penn State, Seton Hall and UNC Greensboro. He'd also drawn interest from Tennessee and Oklahoma State. Spinella is a native of Lincroft, NJ who plays for the post graduate team at Apex and is averaging over 30 points per game.

Apex Academy Vice President Rich Marcucci said USC was one of the first big schools to show interest in Spinella. "They saw him in a private workout and said we really like this kid," Marcucci said. "They were the first to really come and say we're going to offer him a scholarship. And right after that offers and coaches started flying in from Penn State, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, the list goes on and on."

Marcucci said Spinella has been having an excellent season and his offensive skills have improved dramatically. "He's a wiry kind of strong kid," he said. "He really shoots the ball well and he creates well for himself. So, he can creat his own shot, he hits open shots, hits open threes, handles the ball well, and he gets to the basket and he gets fouled. And he really doesn't need to occupy the ball to get those points. He gets in and gets a lot of offensive rebounds. He's just a tough kid. He's a very tough kid."

Marcucci said Spinella also is an excellent student who is already taking some college credits.

Spinella becomes the third commitment for the USC 2009 recruiting class.