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Westtown's Quin Berger becomes St. Joe's third member of 2022 class

04/20/2022, 7:30pm EDT
By Josh Verlin

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)

Quin Berger played out his senior year at the Westtown School, waiting for the moment to be right. The son of Moose head coach Seth Berger, a 6-foot-2 guard, was hearing from several Division I schools, though only one (NJIT) offered a scholarship by the end of his last season of high school hoops.

Still, Berger waited. He knew the end of the hoops season brings with it the insanity of the transfer portal, hoping that thousand-plus players entering the portal would bring with them some new opportunities. And the gamble paid off.

Berger made public his commitment Wednesday night, announcing on social media that he’ll be playing for Billy Lange at Saint Joseph’s in the fall.

Quin Berger (above) made public his commitment to Saint Joseph's on Wednesday. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

“St. Joe’s has always been a school I’ve wanted to go to,” he told CoBL by phone Wednesday morning. “I grew up in the area, so I know a lot about it, I have a lot of friends who go there already. My parents went to Penn and all the Philly schools know each other, I’ve heard great things. I know it’s a good school, a fun place to be, and I’m excited.”

It’s a commitment that actually happened nearly a month ago, at the end of March. The two sides had been in touch during the course of Berger’s senior year, Berger visiting the campus in February and taking in a game. 

The scholarship offer came in late March, after several transfers opened up room on the roster. Five days later, Berger committed, privately.

“I had to figure out if it was the right spot for me, and with St. Joe’s, it was a pretty easy decision,” he said. “The coaching staff is great, I felt like I could really trust them, I’ve known them for a good long time, so has my dad, and they do a great job. We’ve got to win some games and I think we’re going to be able to do it the next four years.”

The reason for making his commitment public several weeks later was due to a commitment Berger made to play for WeR1 during the April live periods. Not wanting to leave WeR1 program founder Terrell Myers in the lurch, Berger kept his commitment quiet, playing in a couple tournaments, before revealing his choice.

Berger’s coming off a senior year where he averaged around 15 points, four rebounds and three assists per game for the Moose, who captured both the Friends’ Schools League and Pennsylvania Independent School (PAISAA) championships.

In four years of playing for his father — the first two spent alongside older brother T.J. Berger, who just finished up his sophomore year as a reserve on the University of San Diego’s squad — Quin Berger got to play alongside some of the best prospects in the country, like Duke-bound big man Dereck Lively II, the 7-1 center and No. 1 player in the Class of 2022, Penn State signee Jameel Brown, Florida State point guard Jalen Warley, Syracuse forward Jon Bol Ajak and more.

They spent days and nights at the West Chester-area boarding and day school living basketball, developing a professional mindset in a high school program. 

“It’s a complete lifestyle,” Berger said. “A lot of high schools, a lot of high school basketball teams, it’s two-hour practices in the gym, and that’s it. At Westtown, it’s you wake up, you get shots up, you think about what you’re eating in your meals, you talk about the game plan, talk about the film.”

Berger (above) averaged 15 ppg as Westtown won the PAISAA state championship his senior year. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

“Quin is, along with my first recruit ever to Westtown — Luisito Jimenez — the most competitive player I’ve ever coached,” Seth Berger said in a text. “In four years, he never took one possession off in a practice or a game. I never had to worry about our team’s commitment to winning when he was on the court, whether he was playing against the starters or winning a state title.”

It’s that mindset that Lange is hoping to tap into as he tries to jump-start a program that’s been treading water over his first three seasons since supplanting Phil Martelli on Hawk Hill. St. Joe’s went 11-19 last season, as many wins as the two previous seasons combined, but a 5-13 record in Atlantic 10 play had them in the play-in round of the Atlantic 10 tournament, where they lost to Big 5 rival La Salle for the third time in less than two months.

“[Lange] had mentioned a couple times how he loves players who know how to play with great players, because if you don’t have that, you can’t play on a good team,” Quin Berger said. “I see eye-to-eye [with him]; there’s been great players at Westtown that I’ve had to learn how to play with and it makes us better as individual players through practices and competing, but obviously it makes us better as a team, being able to play together, play as a unit.”

The Hawks that take the court this fall will be a rather different-looking group, minus Jordan Hall, Taylor Funk, Dahmir Bishop and Jack Forrest from this season’s rotation. 

Dayton transfer Lynn Greer III, who sat out last season, plus Vanderbilt transfer Shane Dezonie and Harcum College transfer Louis Bleechmore all will suit up and play right away. Berger, and fellow freshmen Christan Winborne (Gilman School, Md.) and Rasheer Fleming (Camden, N.J.), will compete for minutes.

A strong-bodied guard who’s a plus 3-point shooter, Berger knows he might not be a standout in the Atlantic 10 from the get-go, but feels confident he’s with the right coaching staff to help him progress. Lange added John Linehan to his staff this week, alongside John Griffin III and Justin Scott, giving them a quartet of former guards who’ve played at a high level to help guide Berger’s next few years.

“We talked about St. Joe’s more of a long-term plan, obviously he has a lot of talent that’s there right now,” Berger said. “But he sees a path for me and potential in me that one day I’ll be able to be a great guard on Hawk Hill.”

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