When it came time to focus on recruiting, David Erebor had his fair share of options to consider. The Mount Carmel senior had offers from James Madison, La Salle and Loyola, plus interest from a number of other mid- and high-major schools.
Narrowing the field, however, proved to be fairly straightforward thanks to Erebor's lofty criteria.
"At the end of last season, I just said 'Ivy League.' I would like to go to a school where I can get the best [combination of] basketball and education," Erebor said. "I wasn't going to go to a big-name school. So I thought I might as well go to the Ivy League, because in the long run, I'm actually going to win."
Erebor decided last week that Brown would put him in the best position to win. He committed to the Bears over Princeton.
"I'm not going to be a one-and-done, so why not just get the most [out of basketball] while I have it?" he said.
A 6-foot-9, 223-pound forward, Erebor grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, where he was discovered at a camp run by Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri, then an executive with the Denver Nuggets. He eventually landed in Baltimore with Mount Carmel coach Tom Rose.
"It was lonely [at first]. I thought, 'I think I made a mistake,'" Erebor said. "Once basketball season started, it was fun. It was hard work, but it was fun."
Though he had played basketball competitively for about eight months before coming to Mount Carmel, Erebor claimed a spot on the varsity team and quickly emerged as a factor defensively.
Growing three inches since his freshman year, in addition to working with Rose, a trainer, and the AAU staffs at B'more's Finest, Nike Baltimore Elite and Maryland 3D, helped improve his game substantially. As a junior, Erebor averaged 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds, helping the Cougars to a 32-11 record and appearances in the MIAA A Conference title game and the Baltimore Catholic League semifinals.
Erebor said Brown coach Mike Martin compared him to Cedric Kuakumensah, a two-time Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year.
"With Cedric, the improvement he made over the past three years, I was really, really impressed," Erebor said. "I know I can go there and have an impact right away."
Erebor, who plans to major in business, said his visit to the Providence, R.I., campus "felt like home." Rose was supportive of the commitment, as was his mother in Nigeria. Erebor said his goal in coming to the United States was all about "making sure my mom doesn't have to worry about where she's going to get money from to pay for me to go to school."
"My mom was all about the education first," he said. "When I mentioned the Ivy League, I told her it's basically the best schools in the world. She was really, really excited about the acceptance rate that they have."
Erebor is the second Baltimore player to commit to Brown in recent years, following former Friends forward Jon Schmidt in 2011. The list of local players to end up playing in the Ivy League is a small one, but Erebor is thrilled to join those exclusive ranks.
"Everyone's asking me, 'Why Ivy League?' And I'm like, 'Why not?' It's a no-brainer," he said. "Going to the Ivy League gives you the chance to go to one of the best schools in the world and play some of the best basketball in the country."