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Quincy at Rock Island

Rock Island's JaMir Price goes up for a shot against Quincy's Jaeden Smith last season at Rock Island Field House. Price will now call Quincy home after committing to Quincy University to play basketball starting this year.

It seemed like the perfect fit. Rock Island graduate JaMir Price loved everything about Quincy University men's basketball and QU coach Ryan Hellenthal loved the idea of having Price in his program.

Then, Bradley University stepped in and made an offer that Price thought he couldn't refuse and the former Rocky standout committed last fall.

A few weeks ago, Price changed his mind and the perfect fit became reality this week when Price enrolled at Quincy and signed his letter of intent to play for the Hawks.

"I really liked coach Hellenthal and we built a great relationship," Price said. "I really like the city and the campus. I also know the people in Quincy really love their basketball."

Hellenthal recruited Price and Moline's Deonte Billups in the summer of 2018 knowing both wanted to be Division I players but knowing he still had to build relationships. He had a great one with Price.

"When JaMir committed to Bradley I called him and told him if it didn't work out all he needed to do was call me," Hellenthal said. "How it worked out, I don't know. But I sure am happy to have it happen.

"Thom (Sigel) was one of my high school coaches at Galesburg. He and Logan Wynn helped me a lot."

Just a few days in, Price said he has grown to love the campus. His coach thinks that will be a mutual feeling from the QU fans' side.

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"JaMir may be the only kid who Quincy High School fans hated one year and will love him the next four years," Hellenthal said. "I believe he can step in right away and be successful. JaMir is going to impact this program and become one of the better players in our league."

And that is a good league. The thing is that many basketball fans do not understand that Division II basketball is not that much different from Division 1.

"One of my new teammates was telling me the other day that one of the teams in our league is looking to move up to D-1 very soon," Price said. "It is a very good level at D-2. I think most D-2 guys could play D-1.

"I really like the team here in Quincy. It feels like a family right from the start. They are a good group to be around and they want to get the program back where it belongs."

QU was 9-19 last season, but Price believes that will change in a hurry.

"They have one guard who sat out the whole season with an injury and some young guys who are bigger and stronger this year," he said. "Coach Hellenthal sat down with me to talk about my next four years and he has big plans for me.

"He already told me he wants me to be a leader, even as a freshman. I'll take what coach Sigel taught me about being a vocal leader who makes the right play, gets his teammates involved and be smart. Yeah, he'll want me to score as well."

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