Ja’Mier Fletcher was highly regarded as one of the top big men in the WPIAL last year after averaging 19 points and 17 rebounds for Steel Valley.
With Fletcher returning, the Ironmen would have been among the top teams in Class 3A, but the starting center left the program in search of more exposure and a coveted Division I scholarship, landing at Faith Love Christian Academy, a college prep academy, in South Strabane, Pennsylvania. The Knights, who are only in their third year of existence as a basketball program, play a national schedule and are not affiliated with the WPIAL or PIAA.
A 6-foot-7 power forward, Fletcher draws praise from scouts for his ability to block shots and protect the rim. Robert Morris head coach Andy Toole recently stopped in at practice to watch the big man, and before Toole departed, Fletcher had his fifth Division I offer. Pittsburgh Sports Now caught up with the class of 2019 product to get his thoughts on Robert Morris and coach Toole.
“I knew that they wanted to recruit me early on,” Fletcher said. “He came to practice and watched me, and after he told me how he liked everything I did. Then he proceeded to tell me about the school and offered me a scholarship.”
Fletcher also holds offers from St. Francis (Pa.), Morehead State, Kent State, and Central Connecticut State.
The Robert Morris offer is special for Fletcher, because his father played for the Colonials from 1992-96.
“I was happy, because that’s where my dad went to school,” Fletcher said. “I think it’s pretty cool to get offered by the college he went to.”
His father, Bill, appeared in 104 career games, averaging 3.3 points a contest for the Colonials. The elder Fletcher was a freshman on the Robert Morris team that lost to UCLA in the first round of the 1993 NCAA tournament.
Coach Toole impressed the younger Fletcher, who admired the coach for his straight forwardness.
“He left a good impression on me,” Fletcher admitted. “He’s a pretty straight forward guy and knows what he’s talking about.”
With two years of school left, Fletcher is in the early stages of the recruiting process, but he has a good idea of what he is looking for at the next level.
“I’m looking for a program with a strong foundation, and coaches that care not only on the court but off the court,” Fletcher said.
First Love Christian opens the season mid-November, and Fletcher aims to be among the Knights’ top players. The 2019 prospect has set lofty goals for the upcoming season and should they come to fruition, more schools will come calling for his services.
“I want to average a double-double and compete for a Dicks Sporting Goods national championship with my team,” Fletcher said.