Bushwick’s Severe takes his time

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Patience has long been a crucial part of Jon Severe’s career, and his college decision is no different.

The Bushwick native, who chose to wait his turn to star at Christ the King, is one of top unsigned seniors in New York State. Severe didn’t focus on recruiting during the season. His mind was on his team as he led the Royals to the state Federation Class AA title.

The wait to pick a school has further put the spotlight on Severe. Reporters hound him at every opportunity to see if there is any update. None of it bothers the unflappable 6-foot-2 shooting guard.

“I don’t think I could have handled the recruiting in a better way,” Severe said.

His route was a bit unorthodox. He took four of his five official visits in the fall, well before he recently cut his list down to West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, Duquesne, Fordham and Wake Forest. Severe plans on announcing his decision at Christ the King’s awards night on May 22.

“This will be the hardest decision of my life so I want to make the right decision,” Severe said.

Choosing to wait left him with a smaller window to make that choice, but expanded his options from the host of mid-major programs that originally approached him. Duquesne has been there from the beginning, but the other five only began to recruit him hard over the winter as he averaged 21.6 points per game.

It’s the same patience and persistence that has paid off over his last two years. His grandmother, Anna Johnson, whom Severe has lived with since the eighth grade, said he started getting impatient with his lack of playing time after his sophomore year. Royals head coach Joe Arbitello told him playing behind a host of Division-I-level guards would be worth it.

Severe bought in, made a name for himself as a junior, and was named the best senior in the state this season by earning Christ the King’s first-ever New York State Mr. Basketball award. He was selected to play in the Jordan Classic regional all-star game at the Barclays Center last Saturday.

Johnson, who has been a major influence on Severe, assured him things would work out.

“I told him, ‘You know you have one more year. Next year you are going to shine. You are going to be a star,’ ” Johnson said.

Where Severe will go to college is still uncertain, but history suggests he will make the right choice. The way he ends up there may not work for everyone, but it has certainly fit him perfectly.

“[My family] always tells me to follow my heart, don’t listen to other people, do what’s best for yourself,” Severe said

Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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