Seattle U makes Foster's final four

Seattle U makes Foster's final four

This season was one of growth for Elijah Foster. Not only did the Rainier Beach High School (Seattle) power forward end his senior campaign about an inch taller than he began it, putting him at 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds presently, but he also grew as a player into a coveted D-I recruit.

After averaging 9.5 points and 11 rebounds for the Vikings during their undefeated regular season, Foster put up 15 and 12 per game in the state tournament. That tournament ended with Rainier Beach winning its third straight Class 3A Washington State championship.

"It felt good, getting to go out a winner. It was fun," Foster said during a Thursday evening chat. "In my eyes, this was the most important (championship) of the three because it was my last year. And because we won state, we got to go to New York and play in the national tournament. It opened doors for us."

Beach dropped its opening game in the Dick's Sporting Goods High School National Tournament, going in as the No. 2 seed and losing to No. 7 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.).

"New York was very fast-paced. It was different," Foster said. "We were mad that we lost, but it was an educational experience."

On the recruiting front, Foster has whittled his list of potential colleges to four: Seattle U, Nevada, Boise State and South Carolina.

He says he'll make his decision in "no more than two or three weeks," adding his name to the handful of Rainier Beach seniors receiving college scholarships -- a list that includes Louisville-bound small forward Shaqquan Aaron and point guard Naim Ladd, grandson of Seattle U Hall of Fame point guard Gary Ladd, who is committed to Central Washington.

Foster said the primary factors in his college choice will be the coaching staff and how much his family likes the school and program. Staying close to home is a bonus, he said, but not necessarily a deciding factor.

Foster's role on the loaded Vikings was to defend the paint and rebound. The offensive game he's shown so far is that of a traditional low-post big man, but Foster hopes to expand his repertoire on the next level.

"Most coaches I've talked to see me playing the four (power forward) for my first couple of years, then transitioning to a wing," Foster said. "When I can shoot and post up, I'm hard to guard. When I match my outside game with my inside game, I can be more of a three (small forward)."

Seattle U's 2014 signed recruiting class consists of three guards: 6-4 PG Jadon Cohee, 6-5 SG Armond Davis and 6-6 SG Brendan Westendorf. The Redhawks are losing senior forward Clarence Trent, and sophomore forward Deshaun Sunderhaus is recovering from tearing the ACL in his left knee in late-January. Bolstering the frontcourt would appear to be a priority, and Foster is the highest-rated frontcourt recruit linked to SU.

The question now is whether SU actually has room for Foster. I may be wrong, but including the three new signees, SU is at its limit of 13 scholarship players for the 2014-15 academic year. Someone would have to transfer or give up a scholarship for another player to sign on.

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