Shamorie Ponds has announced that he will return to St. John’s for his junior season in 2018-19 after previously declaring for the NBA Draft and working out for teams over the past month.
Ponds is coming off a breakthrough season, in which he was the leading scorer in the Big East last year at 21.6 points per game and was a First Team All-Big East selection in 2017-18.
In April, he became the 23rd player in St. John’s history to win the prestigious Haggerty Award, recognizing him as the top talent in the New York Metropolitan Area. He was also just the fifth player from St. John's to receive the award as an underclassman.
This past season, Ponds put together one of the most memorable campaigns in the history of the St. John’s basketball program.
The Brooklyn native poured in 647 points, breaking the school’s sophomore scoring record and finishing eighth on the single-season scoring list. The lefty sharpshooter eclipsed the 20-point plateau on 16 occasions and turned in six efforts of 30 points or better.
Ponds captured the attention of the nation in late January and early February, stringing together a series of performances that forever etched his name in the lore of St. John’s Basketball.
The historic run began when he scored 31 points and breaking the 1,000-point mark in a hard-fought loss to No. 6 Xavier on January 30, followed a few days later with a 33-point effort in an upset of No. 4 Duke at Madison Square Garden on February 3. The sophomore scored 24 of his 33 points in the second half, including six in the closing 1:17 to put St. John’s ahead for good.
Four days later, Ponds led the Red Storm to its first victory over the top team in the nation since 1985, recording 26 points, five assists and five boards in a thrilling road win over No. 1 Villanova in Philadelphia. With the world wondering how he could possibly top those performances, Ponds returned home and broke the Carnesecca Arena/Alumni Hall single-game scoring record, netting 44 points on 16-of-23 shooting against Marquette on February 10.
With Ponds back, St. John's will be expected to join the elite of the Big East Conference next season.