Chiefs Top Player in 2019-20 Headed to South Carolina and the CIAA
PISCATAWAY, NJ—Nearly two months ago, GMC Hoops had learned and reported on Piscataway boys hoops senior, Jonathan Livingston narrowing his college choice down to four schools. Since then, another candidate entered the picture. Claflin University, an NCAA D2 school that is a member of the CIAA, or Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, not only entered the picture, it also became Livingston’s final choice.
On Friday, GMC Hoops received word from Piscataway boys basketball head coach, Darius Griffin, that Livingston had decided on attending Claflin University and will play basketball there next season. In early May, Livingston had narrowed his choice to four schools ranging from NAIA to NCAA D2 including: Lincoln College in Illinois, University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, another D2 school in American International of the Northeast-10, and NCAA D3 Bridgewater State University.
Livingston, who had seen some varsity playing time as a sophomore and a junior, played in all 24 games for the Chiefs and Coach Griffin, and along with teammate Keshawn Peterson-Fish (attending Rutgers Camden next fall), was a huge bright spot in a rebuilding season at P-Way after the 2018-19 Chiefs lost 12 players to graduation including Antonio Chandler (Franklin Pierce) and Tyree Barba-Bey (Olympus Prep/Jefferson University). While the 2019-20 edition of the Chiefs was only 6-18 overall, Livingston still averaged 18.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.0 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game.
The Piscataway senior made 129 total field goals including 43 three pointers along with 130 free throws for a total of 436 points. In addition, Livingston also collected 111 rebounds, 72 assists, 71 steals, and 11 blocks. He led the Chiefs in scoring, assists, steals, and blocks while being second on the team in rebounding according to stats compiled by nj.com. Livingston ended his career as the 45th highest active scorer in the GMC with 462 points.
During the post-season, GMC Hoops selected Livingston, who scored in double figures in 23 of Piscataway’s 24 games, for a number of honors including: All Perimeter Team, All Sharpshooter Team, All Hoopshoot Team, All Feast Team, All Efficiency Team, All GMC Group 4, GMC Hoops Senior All-Star Team, and GMC Hoops All Red Division Team. He scored at least 20 points in 11 contests including a career high 26 points in a 68-50 loss at Colonia on January 4th.
Livingston is the 2nd recent GMC boys basketball alum to attend Claflin. This past season, former St. Joseph’s and Piscataway Tech standout, Letrell West, who played JUCO hoops in 2018-19 for Dave Turco and Middlesex County College, played at Claflin University. West, a 1,000 point scorer at St. Joseph’s, and 2019 Region XIX Division 3 Tournament MVP for MCC, played in 30 of 31 games including 24 starts for the Panthers in 2019-20, and averaged 12.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game.
West led the team in scoring, field goals made, and free throws made while being 2nd in minutes per game, 3rd in total rebounds and assists, and 4th in steals. Claflin finished 15-16 overall including a 9-8 mark in the CIAA. Then, during the post-season, the Panthers put together a solid run in the CIAA Tournament with wins over Elizabeth City State University (70-60 in OT) and Virginia State University (63-58) before losing to Winston Salem State (58-56) in the semifinals.
Livingston’s college announcement is the fourth involving a Piscataway player so far this off-season. Earlier this spring, Peterson-Fish announced that he was attending Rutgers-Camden in the fall. Then, soon to be Piscataway girls hoops senior, Kaelonn Wilson gave a verbal commitment to NCAA D1 University of Buffalo. Finally, a few weeks ago, Barba-Bey announced his commitment to play NCAA D2 hoops at Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Congratulations Jonathan, on making your college choice, and best of luck at the next level.