C.J. Aiken, a senior next season at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, gave an oral commitment Monday to play basketball at St. Joseph's University.

The 6-foot-9, 185-pound forward/center chose the Hawks' scholarship offer over ones from La Salle, Temple, Florida, Virginia and Auburn. He wanted to stay close to home, which is why St. Joe's, Temple and La Salle were Aiken's final three choices.

"I think him and coach [Phil] Martelli really clicked early on," Plymouth Whitemarsh coach Jim Donofrio said. "I know that there was a relationship with St. Joe's when I came on board."

Aiken transferred to Plymouth Whitemarsh from La Salle High last fall. Last season, he averaged 13.5 points, 10 rebounds and 9 blocked shots to lead the Colonials to the PIAA Class AAAA state semifinals.

The Conshohocken resident is listed as the nation's 42d-ranked prospect in the Class of 2010 by Rivals.com. Not your typical post player, Aiken likes to roam around the perimeter and shoot three-pointers.

"He's got very good basketball skills all around," Donofrio said. "Obviously, you will like to see him put 20 more pounds on. His whole thing is just how hard he wants to apply himself. He has the skill base."

Aiken's skills were on display when Plymouth Whitemarsh defeated Norristown, 72-50, in the second round of the state playoffs. He had five dunks en route to finishing with a team-high 19 points. He also had seven rebounds, two blocks, and a steal in 17 minutes.