Sina sees bright future for Northwestern

During a summer recruiting visit, Jaren Sina was thrilled to spend time with Northwestern senior forward Drew Crawford. He never expected the opportunity to play with him. Provided Crawford is granted a medical hardship waiver, Sina will get the chance to play alongside Crawford and a stacked roster.

Northwestern was already the total package for Jaren Sina.

The 6-foot-2 senior guard from New Jersey fell in love with Northwestern's coaching staff, academics and the chance to play Big Ten basketball. He signed for the Wildcats in the fall with no hesitation. But nobody could predict that the school might have another thing to offer him: a chance to play with standout senior forward Drew Crawford.

Crawford, a prolific scorer, underwent surgery for a torn labrum in December and will likely receive a medical redshirt, clearing him to play one more season. Sina and Crawford struck up a friendship throughout the three-star guard's recruitment, and if all goes well will get to be teammates next year.

"I'm so excited for it," said Sina of the chance to play with Crawford. "When I heard he got hurt, obviously it was disappointing and a big blow for Northwestern—but I'm extremely excited and so lucky to get to play with him."

In midst of his best high school season, Sina has averaged 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds for Gill St. Bernard's. After bulking up last summer, the future Wildcat has focused on rounding out his skill set, particularly on the glass and in transition. Playing with Crawford leaves Sina with even more to gain.

"Drew will have been [at Northwestern] for five years, so he's been through it all," said Sina. "He's an experienced player, and I can really learn from him. He's played at the highest level, and I really think I'll be able pick some things up."

Make no mistake: Crawford's injury has made things difficult for the Wildcats. This season's hype appears to be dying down, and fans are already looking forward to next year. The thing is, they should be.

The likely return of Crawford, combined with junior Jershon Cobb's comeback from suspension and the addition of a strong recruiting class, should leave Northwestern with one of its most talented rosters in history next season. The magnitude of that opportunity isn't lost on Sina.

"I'm excited, I really think I can help and contribute right away," he said. "We have so many talented players across the board—I think the team becomes more of a threat with more weapons off the bench."

Sina has followed his future teammates closely, and with each game, win or lose, his anticipation builds. It's been a tough season for Northwestern, but the young guard is patiently waiting his turn. Safe to say, he's more than ready to make an impact.

"I'm just pumped for next year," said Sina. "I'm pumped to play for Coach Carmody. The future is bright for Northwestern, and I can't wait to be part of it."

Follow on Twitter: @Jeremy_Woo

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