The last time Samari Curtis was in Value City Arena, he was receiving his Mr. Basketball award in 2019.
The former Xenia basketball star was in Columbus with his Bowling Green State University team as they played at Ohio State on Monday.
Curtis received a waiver from the NCAA to be immediately eligible at Bowling Green this season after transferring for the third time in three years.
“Family environment,” Curtis said. “I was looking to come home and looking for somewhere I could join a family, more than just playing basketball. I wanted to find somewhere with some stability.”
Originally committing to Xavier and later Cincinnati while at Xenia, Curtis ended up enrolling at Nebraska as a freshman but decided to transfer in December 2019 after playing in the team’s first eight games. He committed to Evansville in January 2020.
He sat out the first four games in 2020 due to transfer rules, and went on to score a collegiate career-high 29 points as a member of the Purple Aces on Dec. 28, 2020, against Southern Illinois. He missed the team’s final two games due to injury before entering the transfer portal again in March 2020. He committed to Bowling Green in April.
“I’ve been going to some colleges where the coach left, but Bowling Green is a real good family environment,” Curtis said. “[Coach Michael Huger] treated me like I was his family from day one before I even committed. That’s what I liked about it.”
After a 0-for-2 performance from the fied in the first half, Curtis came off the bench with 15:53 to go in the game and ended up having his best performance with BGSU so far.
Curtis got his first points of the game on an and-one floater, and from there ended up making all four shots he attempted to score 11 points on the night, creating two assists and adding a rebound and steal.
“It felt good just to get my feet wet in a game like that,” he said. “And yeah we were losing, but it was nice to play.”
Curtis won Ohio’s Mr. Basketball award in 2019 after averaging 33.8 points per game in his senior year and becoming Xenia’s all-time leading scorer with 2,109 points. He averaged 10.1 points per game as a bench contributor for Evansville.
Coming off the bench again in his first three games with BG, Curtis is not worried about his minutes and wants to maximize his contributions for the team.
“We could all be leaders. I have a voice in the locker room like everyone else does, so I can be as much of a leader as anyone else,” he said. “Yeah I want to be able to show them that you haven’t seen the ugly side of basketball so let’s all have fun.”
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.