HOUSTON Archbishop Alter High guard and Ohio Player of the Year Jaaron Simmons became the newest member of the University of Houston Men s Basketball team when he inked a National Letter of Intent with the Cougars on Thursday afternoon.

Simmons, who will be a freshman with the Cougars in 2013-14, was an award-winning star at Alter High for head coach Joe Petrocelli. As a senior in 2012-13, he averaged 24.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game while leading the Knights to Greater Catholic League, district and regional championships and a berth in the state tournament semifinals.

Simmons, whose first name is pronounced Juh-ron, finished his prep career as the Knights all-time leading scorer and ranked second in career assists. He was the first freshman in school history to start for the varsity for a program that produced John Paxson and Jim Paxson, among others.

The Dayton, Ohio, native chose Houston over Wichita State, Butler, Xavier, Dayton and UCF.

Earlier this month, he was named the Ohio Player of the Year by Previous JJ Huddle Players of the Year included current Michigan guard Trey Burke and two-time recipient and former Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger.

We are extremely excited to have Jaaron join our program, said head coach James Dickey, who will be in his fourth season with the Cougars in 2013-14. He is an outstanding student-athlete and a class young man. Jaaron is a tremendous guard who can distribute, make his teammates better and also score. He is a great competitor and unselfish player, and we look forward to his arrival in Houston.

Simmons, who measures 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, began his senior season with a 38-point effort against Miami Valley High and never looked back.

Simmons went on to score at least 30 points in a game five times and totaled 28 points against Marion-Franklin High in a Division II regional semifinal, scoring eight points in the final five minutes of that playoff contest.

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