North Stars’ Payne commits to LoyolaSt. Charles North's Quinten Payne committed to play college basketball at Loyola on Friday. | FILE
Updated: August 28, 2011 11:14AM
Quinten Payne’s college commitment is in, and the St. Charles North junior will be keeping his noteworthy basketball talents close to home.
Payne solidified his plans Friday when he committed to Loyola during his second official visit to the school. He becomes one of the first recruits from the Class of 2013 for new Ramblers coach Porter Moser, who was hired in April.
“The way they were recruiting me at Loyola, they were really invested in me and they were really seeing me as being able to grow as a player,” Payne said. “They get up and down the floor a lot, and that’s how I like to play.”
It didn’t hurt that Payne’s older brother, Cully, transferred to Loyola from Iowa earlier this year to play for Moser. Cully Payne will have two or three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the upcoming season, meaning Quinten Payne will likely have a chance to share the backcourt with his older brother, who starred as a high school player at Burlington Central and Schaumburg.
Although the family ties played a big role in swaying Payne’s decision, he stresses that there were other significant factors in play.
“They recruited me totally different than just trying to get me like a package deal just because they had Cully,” Quinten Payne said. “That was a huge part of it. I love it down there and I’m really happy that I made that choice.”
A group of close to a dozen schools had expressed serious interest in Payne in recent months, according to St. Charles North coach Tom Poulin. Payne said he had an offer on the table from Davidson, and Georgia Tech, Indiana and Stanford were among the other schools Payne visited or planned to visit.
Payne will join a Loyola program that finished 16-15 last season and has a new outlook with Moser at the helm. The Ramblers compete in the Horizon League, which is home to two-time national runner-up Butler.
“It wasn’t an easy choice, but I thought going to Loyola would be a great opportunity to not only play with my brother, but also to come into a growing program,” Payne said. “A lot of people say, ‘Oh, you’re not going SEC, ACC or Big Ten. But if you think about it, look who was in the championship game the last two years: Butler.
“I don’t think it matters if you go mid-major or high-major. Look at Jimmer (Fredette). He was at a mid-major school, and then he was the (10th) pick in the NBA Draft. It’s all about how you perform at whatever level you’re at.”
Quinten Payne is the youngest of three siblings in a family that has deep basketball ties to the area. His father Kent Payne is a former coach at St. Edward who now works as the athletic director at Elgin Community College. His sister Katlyn Payne, who now plays for the Eastern Illinois women’s basketball team, spent one season at St. Edward and helped lead the Green Wave to the state finals before transferring to Fenwick.
Quinten Payne began his high school career at Bishop Verot High in Fort Myers, Fla., where he starred on the varsity team as a freshman. He then transferred to St. Charles North for his sophomore campaign and averaged 12.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
“(Loyola) is a good spot for Quinten,” Poulin said. “It’s a new coaching staff and they’re really trying to change the culture and recruit some of the top kids in Illinois.”