Coach: Guard Belardo commits to Bulls
Gaby Belardo, a 6-foot-3 guard originally from Puerto Rico, has committed to USF and signed a national letter of intent with the Bulls after an official campus visit this weekend, according to Ryan Hurd, his coach at Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts.
"We're pretty excited for him," Hurd said. "He's a pure shooter. Putting the ball in the basket is what he does best. He's a scorer. That's what he does. They've got themselves a real player."
Belardo played on a Notre Dame team that has at least nine Division I signees, including three others who have signed or committed to Big East programs -- forward Terrence Jennings to Louisville, where guard Melquan Bolding had been committed; and Syracuse-bound forward James Southerland. Guard Kim English also signed with Missouri.
Hurd said Belardo came to Notre Dame Prep from Florida's Montverde Academy with interest from high majors such as Kansas and Kansas State, but injured his ankle in fall practice and set himself back by not allowing enough time for the injury to heal completely.
"It put him behind the 8-ball much of our season," said Hurd, saying that Belardo's scoring average of about nine points per game should be taken in the context of the star-laden lineup he played on. "He had a ton of interest when he first got here."
Belardo would be the sixth member of Stan Heath's incoming recruitng class, joining four signees (point guard Dwan McMillan, guard/forward Mike Mercer, power forward Eladio Espinosa and center Gene Teague) and center Alex Rivas-Sanchez, who committed last week and is expected to sign with USF.
As of noon, USF had not received Belardo's national letter of intent, but a formal announcement should come Monday or Tuesday.