Mater Dei Prep Class of 2017 wing Elijah Barnes made a non-binding verbal commitment to play college basketball at Princeton University Tuesday, as first reported by Corey Evans of Roundball Rundown Report.

A 6-foot-7 swingman who primarily played a low post role for his high school team, Barnes is a versatile player on both ends of the floor and he helped lead the Seraphs to their first ever Shore Conference Tournament championship as a junior this past season.

Mater Dei junior Elijah Barnes. (Photo by Mark Brown, B51 Photography)


Mater Dei was the third school that Barnes - a Freehold resident - played for in his three high school seasons. He played his freshman season at Freehold Borough, transferred to Central Regional for his sophomore year, then joined Mater Dei and first-year coach Ben Gamble for the 2015-16 school year.

As a junior, Barnes averaged 11.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks for a deep, balanced Seraphs team. He was a First-Team All-Shore selection by the Shore Conference coaches and a Shore Sports Network All-Shore Second Team forward.

Barnes returns to Mater Dei this season along with fellow incoming seniors Elijah Mitchell and Kenny Jones, all of whom were starters for the Seraphs once all of their players became eligible.

Princeton has secured more NCAA Tournament bids (24) than any other Ivy League program and while the Tigers have not reached the tournament since 2011, they have not finished worse than third in the conference during the four-year absence. Princeton finished second in the League to Yale last season.