Eric Gaines signs with LSU

Lithonia High School senior guard Eric Gaines signed his national letter of intent to play college basketball at Louisiana State University April 15. Gaines’ national letter of intent was received and approved by LSU’s Athletic Department the same night, completing LSU’s 2020 recruiting class.

“I got along with the coaches as soon as I got [to LSU],” Gaines said. “I got to see a game when I took my visit. I liked their playing style. I just liked everything about LSU. They made me feel at home.”

Gaines had a breakout senior season at Lithonia, going from an unranked recruit to a four-star guard ranked as the No. 79 recruit in the country, according to 247Sports. Gaines’ success resulted in offers from LSU, Alabama, TCU and others and helped Lithonia get off to a 15-0 start before finishing 26-4.

“Coach [Wallace] Corker has been preparing me for this since my ninth-grade year,” Gaines said of his high school head coach. “They had me prepared for college, because they saw the potential I had my ninth-grade year … I’m going to take my 1,000 point and MVP trophies with me.”

During his senior season, Gaines averaged 18.6 points per game, 4.0 assists per game and 2.7 steals per game while shooting 56 percent from two, 44 percent from three and 70 percent from the free throw line.

Gaines also picked up awards on the local and state levels, including GACA boys’ 5A North Player of the Year, Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Atlanta All-Metro Honorable Mention, AJC boys’ Atlanta All-Metro Player of the Year (DeKalb County), AJC boys’ Atlanta All-Metro First Team (DeKalb County), AJC boys’ 5A All-State First Team.

Following the 15-0 start, Lithonia lost its first game of the season against nationally ranked Grayson High School in the Tournament of Champions held at Wheeler High School in Cobb County.

Despite the loss, Gaines—who was an unranked recruit at the time—poured in 34 points against Grayson’s talented backcourt and earned himself a SLAM Magazine highlight reel in addition to national coverage.

Gaines’ commitment helped LSU achieve the No. 6 recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports.

LSU head coach Will Wade has found success with guards such as Gaines in the past, as LSU has sent players such as Tremont Waters to the NBA, and Wade has coached guards such as Skylar Mays and Javonte Smart at LSU. Wade also found success with combo-guards such as Samir Doughty during his previous head coaching stint at VCU.

Eric Gaines signs his national letter of intent to play college basketball at LSU. Photo provided by SUVtv.

“We are very excited about adding Eric Gaines who is a tremendous leader and plays with a great motor,” said Wade. “He is an exceptional athlete with length who is an effortless scorer inside and outside, great passer and defends at a high level.”

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