Smyrna’s Matthews commits to NJIT

SMYRNA – Caleb Matthews was determined to play NCAA Division I basketball.

On Monday night, the former Smyrna High’s dream came true when he announced that he had verbally accepted a scholarship offer from NJIT.

The state Player of the Year as a senior this past winter, Matthews won’t start at the Newark, N.J. until the fall of 2019. The 6-foot-4 guard will spend this coming school year at Mount Zion Prep near Baltimore.

Smyrna’s Caleb Matthews. was the state Player of the Year as a senior at Smyrna High. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

“First off, I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to be in the position I am in today,” Matthews posted on his Twitter page. “I would also like to thank my family, my coaches, Smyrna High School, Mount Zion Prep and everyone else who has helped me along the way.

“With that being said I would like to announce that I have verbally committed to continue my academic and athletic career and fulfill my dream to play Division I basketball at NJIT.”

Matthews, who has been playing for the Jersey Force AAU program, also had scholarship offers from VMI and Binghamton. He was also drawing interest from other Division I programs, including Delaware.

In deciding to hold out for a Division I scholarship, Matthews turned down a handful of offers from Division II programs.

“Just to give up on this dream over one year, you’re going to look back on this when you’re older and you’re going to be like, ‘Man, I should have done that,’” Matthews said his father, Jason, told him. “You’re going to regret it.

“A lot of people I’ve talked to about it, they’re like, ‘Don’t rush to grow up.’ … One guy I talked to was like, ‘This is the best time of your life. You’ve got to enjoy it — don’t rush into anything.’ It flies by.”



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