Bethel's Aaron Bacote commits to play basketball at ODU
Aaron Bacote, Bethel High's athletic wing and exceptional student, committed to Old Dominion, continuing the Monarchs' recent pipeline of Peninsula District talent.

Bacote, a 6-foot-5, 180-pound rising senior, chose ODU over Hampton, George Mason, James Madison, Rhode Island and High Point. He also drew interest from South Florida and George Washington.

"There were really no negatives about the school," Bacote said Wednesday. "Everything just seemed to fit, from the players, the coaches, the school, the proximity to my home. They play a good schedule, they're always at the top of the conference. It's a really good program."

Bacote averaged 15.2 points per game for a Bethel team that averaged 60 per game and finished 17-8. He scored a high of 32 points versus Atlantic Shores in the Ronald Curry Tournament last Christmas and had seven games of at least 20 points. He scored a team-high 24 points in the Bruins' season-ending 59-57 loss to Oscar Smith in the Eastern Region tournament.

"He's a good fit with their style," Bethel coach Craig Brehon said. "Having his family see him play is big. He really likes their ability to compete against the national programs and their success against other state teams, and the opportunity to play."

Bacote said that ODU's style "reminds me of Bethel. Spread the ball around, defense first. It's not really run-and-gun, but it's a lot of motion, share the ball and get open shots."

Bacote, who carries a 4.1 grade-point average, said that he intends to sign a letter-of-intent during the early period in November. He said that committing now allows him to focus on his senior year.

"After July, I played in front of a lot of (college) coaches on the AAU circuit," he said. "I felt like any other opportunities wouldn't have been as good as Old Dominion. Overall, it seemed like the best situation I could get."

Bacote will be the third Peninsula District player on ODU's roster next season, joining redshirt freshman Dimitri Batten (Kecoughtan) and freshman Breon Key (Phoebus). He will be one of five players on the roster from Hampton Roads, along with Donte Hill from Virginia Beach and Nick Wright from Suffolk.