Pines Charter star swingman Haanif Cheatham could follow Heat superstar Dwyane Wade as Marquette’s next program-changing guard.
The 6-5 Cheatham, the 2013-14 Florida Dairy Farmers’ Class 6A Player of the Year, took the first step on Friday when he announced at a news conference inside the Charter gym his oral commitment to the Golden Eagles and first-year coach Steve Wojciechowski, a former Duke assistant.
Cheatham’s verbal commitment is a huge boost for Marquette, which is trying to recapture the national spotlight after failing to earn a postseason bid last season, when it finished 17–15 (9–9, sixth place in the Big East).
Wade offers the ideal blueprint for Cheatham after he led Marquette to an unlikely berth in the 2003 Final Four, averaging 21.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.15 steals.
Cheatham, coveted for his size, high basketball IQ and being left-handed as a big lead guard, selected Marquette following an official visit to the Eagles last weekend.
Cheatham also had offers from Miami, Georgetown, Alabama, Florida State, Pittsburgh and California. Cheatham’s ability to play both guard positions and the wing position should make him a steady contributor for Marquette as a freshman.
Cheatham followed up a breakout junior season in which he averaged a career-high 26.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists and led Pines Charter (18-6) to the Region 4-6A final with a standout AAU season for Nike Team Florida.