Tulane gets commitment from Los Angeles player

NEW ORLEANS — Tulane’s men’s basketball program started the month by losing six scholarship players to transfer, including its top two scorers.

On Friday, the Green Wave took its first step in rebuilding and reloading its roster, receiving a commitment from Josh Hearlihy. The 6-foot-7 graduate of Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles and standout for Northfield Mount Hermon in Gill, Mass., became the first player to pledge to the Green Wave this spring.

Hearlihy was previously committed to play at Utah, but knee problems caused mutual tentativeness and spurred Hearlihy’s decision to attend prep school. In his second round of recruitment, he chose Tulane over offers from Kansas State, Davidson and Santa Clara, according to his mother Melissa Hearlihy.

“There wasn’t anything we didn’t like there,” Melissa Hearlihy said. “It had that Southern feeling which we really enjoyed and everyone from (university president) Scott Cowen on down seemed to be without an ego and truly put the university first.

“There’s also just a vibrant culture about New Orleans and Josh is really into music, so the city just hit home with him and it was somewhere he felt he really wanted to be.”

Melissa Hearlihy, who is the women’s basketball coach at Harvard-Westlake, described her son’s biggest strength as “versatility”, with coaches praising his ability to play anywhere from the point guard to the power forward position at the college level.

Josh Hearlihy helped contribute to Northfield Mount Hermon’s prep school national championship, scoring 16 points in the title-clinching victory.

His performance in the prep championship tournament, highlighted by strong performances against Memphis signee Kuran Iverson and Kansas signee Wayne Selden, earned him a variety of late scholarship offers.

But in the end, Hearlihy chose to play for coach Ed Conroy and the Green Wave, one of the first schools to offer him.

“I know he’s just ready to play,” Melissa Hearlihy said. “I’m interested to see where he fits in best on the floor, but I know he’ll really be great and I’m happy to see him with someone like coach Conroy.”