Brainerd's 6-foot-7 senior forward committed to playing college basketball at St. John's University, in Collegeville, Minnesota, on Tuesday, December 30 via Twitter.
"I am pleased to announce that I have made a commitment to St. John's University to continue my academic and basketball career," Rushin stated in the tweet. "Thanks to my parents, friends, and coaches for helping me get to where I am today."
Rushin is coming off a junior season in which he averaged 11.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 46% from the field. and 31% from the 3 point range. It also won the Dispatch All-Area Honorable Mention last year.
"It's a weight off your shoulders," Rushin said. "He finally commits somewhere and you don't have to think about it anymore. I'm excited to play with the guys this year and I think we can do really good things."
One of the reasons Rushin chose SJU was because it felt like home.
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“All the coaches that came out were nice, they just called to catch up with me a lot,” Rushin said. “There were not many people on campus when I went to visit my family. I like the energy (of the SJU coaching staff) and they seem really passionate about what they're doing and they really want to win. "
What helped Rushin get noticed was playing AAU in the fall and summer. He mentioned that his last three chosen schools were Concordia College in Moorhead, Bemidji State University, and St. John's University.
“I feel like this fall and summer have been important,” Rushin said. “I've been in the weight room almost every day and I feel stronger and better in the last year and a half. "
Brainerd men's basketball head coach Charlie Schoeck coached Rushin as a freshman before becoming a varsity coach.
"I had the opportunity to be with him a little bit more," said Schoeck. "I was his first-year coach and I've been his coach all four years and it's been great to see him develop of a skinny freshman d e 6 feet 3 inches, getting to where he is now and how he has rounded up his game. "
Schoeck said that Rushin is the kind of student-athlete every show wants from his humility to his game.
"He's a good boy in every way," he said. “I couldn't have been more proud of him. He has been very committed to the weight room since I took over as head coach. Just to see the progress he's made there, I can only imagine when he gets to college and is completed, he can be a threat inside and out. The sky's the limit. "
Coming into his final year with Brainerd, Rushin appears to be one of the top offensive threats, as well as one of the team's leaders in rebounding for the Warriors.
"The key for Griffin is that his only mindset is to help the team win," Schoeck said. "Whether it's playing inside protecting the post, he's going to do that. Likewise, if it's a game where he has a mismatch with a slower guy, it will get him out.
“When I get to college, it won't be a guy to turn to right away, but with his ability to play a role and do whatever it takes to win He will see his opportunity in college and take it. ”
Rushin and Schoeck talked a lot during the offseason and Rushin made it clear that he wanted to make the decision not to have it in mind during the season.
"That's a very mature thing for him to realize," said Schoeck. I'm glad he was able to make a decision and I think he made an excellent decision. ”
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