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LI Lutheran alum Andre Curbelo to transfer to St. John’s after winning Sixth Man of Year at Illinois

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Andre Curbelo is coming back to New York.

And he’ll be just 20 miles from where he starred at Long Island Lutheran High School in Brookville. There, he was touted as one of the top point guards on the island.

On Friday, Curbelo announced he has transferred from Illinois to St. John’s University, and his former high school coach is expecting big things.

“Andre knows the game as well as anyone I’ve coached,” Lutheran coach John Buck told GLI.”I’m confident he can mesh well with the entire team in place. It’s going to be fun to watch and we are all excited he’s back close to home.”

Curbelo averaged 9.1 points, 4.2 assists and shot 49% from the field as a freshman. But his play dipped a bit last season, averaging 7.5 points, 3.2 assists while shooting 32.9% for Illini. 

So you might say Curbelo has something to prove, which is music to Buck’s ears.

“Andre’s most underrated quality is his competitiveness,” Buck said. “He was 95-10 during his four years of high school basketball against national competition. He hates to lose and I believe his personality and skill set will help St. John’s become one of the best teams in the country next year. “

Curbelo told the New York Post a return home is a “perfect fit.”

“Just having some guys from my high school, having kids from New York, being from home, the style of play, why wouldn’t I want to go there?” Curbelo said.”I think it will be the perfect fit and I’m just looking forward to it.  

Curbelo won the Sixth Man of the Year award in the Big Ten in 2020-21. 

Last season St. John’s finished 17-15.

Top: Illinois’ Andre Curbelo passes the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Penn State Thursday, March 3, 2022, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Michael Allio)