High School Sports

Here’s why Providence Day star Trey Wertz is headed to the West Coast for college

Providence Day shooting guard Trey Wertz, one of North Carolina’s top 15 or 20 basketball recruits, committed Sunday to Santa Clara University.
Providence Day shooting guard Trey Wertz, one of North Carolina’s top 15 or 20 basketball recruits, committed Sunday to Santa Clara University. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Providence Day shooting guard Trey Wertz will play his college basketball on the West Coast, committing Sunday to Santa Clara University.

Wertz, a 6-5 senior, is listed by most scouting services as one of North Carolina’s top 15 or 20 recruits. His decision comes about a week after Devon Dotson, Providence Day’s point guard and Wertz’s close friend, committed to Kansas.

“The biggest reason for this decision was that Santa Clara made it clear that I was a priority with them,” said Wertz, who received offers from about two dozen universities, including ACC and SEC schools, but made official visits only to Temple and Santa Clara.

Wertz said the Broncos’ coach, former N.C. State and Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek, was another reason for his decision.

“Coach Sendek has been a winner everywhere he has gone,” Wertz said. “He coached James Harden and says he wants to use me in the same type of role.”

Wertz said attending college on the other side of the continent wasn’t a deterrent.

“Actually, my mother’s family is from California, and we have a lot of family members within an hour of the school,” he said. “And my dad was happy with the school and fully supports this.”

Santa Clara is a member of the West Coast Conference, which includes perennial NCAA championship contender Gonzaga and powerhouses Saint Mary’s and BYU.

“I’m like a lot of other people, when it comes to the West Coast Conference,” Wertz said. “I wasn’t that familiar with it. But I quickly learned about the high level of play there.”

According to several scouting websites, Wertz got visits from head coaches at Memphis and Villanova, among other schools, and took unofficial visits to Virginia, Virginia Tech and Clemson. Wertz, an excellent student, also was recruited by several Ivy League schools.

“I knew a few weeks ago that Santa Clara was the place for me,” he said. “The school is beautiful, they’re building a new training facility, and the Leavey Center is great. Once I’d made the decision, I wanted to make my commitment and prepare for my senior season (at Providence Day).”

The Chargers are expected to contend for the private schools’ 3A title this season, and their schedule includes a week-long trip to China in December.

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