Cook, who is rated as the 14th-best center in the country for the class of 2015 by Scout.com, will play for coach Rob Fulford.
“Last weekend I had heard that he was looking at a few schools out of state, and he tweeted (Monday) night that he was going to go to either a school in Florida or somewhere in Maryland,” Fulford said on the MetroNews Statewide “Sportsline” Tuesday night. “So I told him to reach out to me and I responded to him on Twitter. It was quick, and a situation for him where leaving the state of West Virginia just didn’t make sense when we are sitting right here.”
Cook committed to WVU in September 2012 as a sophomore. But at 6-foot-10, 300 pounds, Cook figures to benefit from facing players more at his level in size and skill set.
“He’s 6-foot-10 and there aren’t too many of those in West Virginia,” Fulford said. “I have some 6-foot-7 guards coming in and it’s just a different mindset that he will have to have now because he’s going against someone his own size, not someone who is 6-foot-2.”
Cook should also benefit from the conditioning program at Huntington Prep as well.
“The potential is there, he just has to get his body right with a better strength and conditioning program,” Fulford said. “We have a nutritionist that is actually our strength and conditioning coach and I think that will help him get that portion of his game intact. He has a lot of potential, it’s just tough for him to really see what he can do on a day-to-day basis right now.”
As for Huntington Prep, the prep school in the past has declined to accept athletes from West Virginia in order to avoid friction with area high schools. However, Fulford made an exception for Cook because he was likely heading out of state anyway.
“I still would say I am opposed to (taking kids from the state), but I think this situation was a little different,” Fulford said. “I don’t think a kid should have to leave the state, and that was the case here. He was leaving West Virginia and heading to another state. We had to act pretty quickly and didn’t have much of a window. But, it’s not going to be a yearly thing where a kid just says he will be leaving West Virginia so he can go to Huntington Prep. That won’t be the case.”