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Roosevelt Smart, one of the top guards in the area, decided earlier this week to transfer from Palatine to play his junior year at St. Viator.
He will take his 6-foot-2 frame and his 18.3-point average to a team that lost to state runner-up Stevenson last year in the sectionals.
"I am excited," Smart said. "It was not about basketball, but all about academics. My parents wanted me in a more structured and disciplined school."
The Smart family moved out of Palatine earlier this summer to a home close to the St. Viator campus in Arlington Heights. On Tuesday, Smart and his family met with St. Viator principal Eileen Manno as well as other counselors and administrators at the school.
"They welcomed me with open arms," Smart said. "It is more like a community there and I really loved it. It was fun meeting the counselors and all the people all over the school."
St. Viator coach Mike Howland, who is in his third-year as head coach and has compiled a 46-13 mark while winning two regional titles, looks forward to having Smart on the court this season.
"I am sure the team will embrace him as a new student and teammate," Howland said. "It was a family decision and Roosevelt made it. I found out he was enrolled late yesterday (Tuesday)."
Smart, who already has offers from Creighton, Loyola and Northern Illinois will join St. Viator senior Ore Arogundade, who is also a Division I prospect. The duo played together on the Illinois Wolves AAU team this past summer.
St. Viator will have three returning all-area players on their team next season, with Smart joining Arogundade and junior point guard Mark Falotico. Add in 6-2 junior guard Pat McNamara, who also has been turning heads with his play, and it's possible the Lions could challenge for a state title next season.
"We are excited about our team," Howland said. "We all got together this morning as a team and we are moving forward after the AAU season, which is now behind us."