Ardmore, PA - Lower Merion Aces senior Demetrius Lilley will continue his career as a student-athlete at Penn State University.
The 6'9 All-State center announced his commitment this afternoon, and shared his excitement about joining an ascending Nittany Lions men's basketball program led by new head coach Micah Shrewsberry.
"Playing Division 1 basketball has always been a dream for me, and to be able to do it at Penn State is really a dream come true," said Lilley. "It's one of the top schools in the country, a great Big 10 program, and I felt an instant connection with the players and the coaches. It just seems like the perfect fit. I am very grateful to have this opportunity."
Over the past two seasons, Lilley has been the Aces leading scorer and rebounder and in 2021 became the first player to average more than 20 points (22.2) and ten rebounds (12.2) since Kobe Bryant '96. (He is also the first Ace to average a double-double in consecutive seasons since Bryant.) Last season, Lilley led the Aces to their first District title since 1996 and a trip to the PIAA state semifinals. He is the only Ace to ever score more than 30 points and collect more than 30 rebounds in a single game, a feat he has accomplished twice.
"Hopefully, I can finish my senior year strong and continue those winning ways up at Penn State," said Lilley. "I know how much talent they have on that team and I have seen up close how hard they work. I'm excited to be a part of that and I'm excited to continue working on my game and contributing at the highest level."
"We are so proud of Demetrius," said Lower Merion head coach Gregg Downer. "Penn State is getting a talented basketball player, and above all they are getting a great person and a winner. Demetrius has done a lot of good things on the basketball court already, and we think his future is especially bright as he continues to improve his skills and get stronger."
Lilley becomes the eighth Ace in the last ten years to advance to the Division 1 level, and will be part of a tradition of successful LM big men in the collegiate ranks.
One of those LM players, Villanova Wildcat and 2016 NCAA National Champion Darryl Reynolds '12, played a role in Lilley's development in his recent tenure as an Aces assistant coach.
"I think he has great instincts for the game," said Reynolds. "I've seen him progress from sophomore year to this year and he is a completely different player. His coachability will allow him to continue to evolve and succeed at the Division 1 level."
Lilley can now dedicate his full focus on his senior basketball season at Lower Merion. The Aces open the 2021-22 campaign on December 10 against Pocono Mountain West at Albright University.
"I'm excited about Penn State and really looking forward to my senior season," said Lilley. "I can't wait to get started."