SAINT LOUIS, Mo. — SLU men’s basketball coach Travis Ford announced on Friday that Jimmy Bell Jr. has signed a national letter of intent to begin his collegiate career with the Billikens this fall.

The 6-foot-11 center is a native of Saginaw, Michigan. He attended Bella Vista College Preparatory School in Scottsdale, Arizona the last two years.

“We are very excited about Jimmy joining our basketball family and Team Blue,” Ford said. “He brings us a big, physical presence inside. Jimmy has a great feel for the game, great hands, great feet and a strong work ethic. The sky is the limit for how good he can become.”

At Bella Vista this past season, Bell helped the Bears to a 37-5 record and averaged a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds per game. Bella Vista captured the Grind Session national championship, a winter tournament featuring the top high school programs in the country.

"Blessed to announce I'm 110% COMMITTED TO ST LOUIS UNIVERSITY," Bell tweeted when he first verbally committed to SLU back in March.

Bell played basketball and football at Arthur Hill High School in Saginaw, Michigan, before attending Bella Vista to focus solely on basketball. He received interest from football schools early in his high school career as a 350+ pound offensive lineman. Bell has lost more than 80 pounds while at Bella Vista, where he played at 290 pounds this season.

“Not only are we excited about the type of player Jimmy is, we are just as excited about the type of person he is,” Ford said. “He has a fun, outgoing personality that our fans will love. He is a great addition to Team Blue.”

Bell joins an incoming class that currently officially includes Yuri Collins, Terrence Hargrove Jr., Gibson Jimerson and Javonte Perkins.

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