Sharp-shooting guard Blake Peters commits to Princeton

Photo courtesy of Blake Peters. Edited by Scott Horne

Photo courtesy of Blake Peters. Edited by Scott Horne

Eli Cohen, Executive Editor

Rising senior Blake Peters has been a vital part of ETHS’ state appearances the last two years, as he has been a full-time starter at shooting guard for the Kits. Earlier today, Peters announced his commitment to continue his career at Princeton, choosing the Tigers over Dartmouth, Lehigh, Loyola-Maryland, UIC and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Peters’ choice was unexpected, as Princeton’s offer was previously unannounced by Peters. The shooting guard received his offer from Princeton towards the end of May, deciding to keep it private. As soon as the Princeton offer came in, he knew he would commit there. Princeton is the perfect fit for Peters both on and off the court.

“It was 50/50, I would say; 50% academics, 50% basketball. I know I want to go to a place that’s going to prepare me to hopefully grow me into a position where I can change the world in whatever I do,” Peters said. “I have a lot of big goals, I’m ambitious, and the people I’ll meet at Princeton and the opportunities I’ll have, it really attracted me to the program.”

In addition to the academic benefits of a university like Princeton, the bond amongst players was something that Peters felt was similar to that of Evanston’s. Within an hour of announcing Peters’ commitment, he said the whole Princeton team had reached out to him.

In addition to the team’s bond off the court, Peters can be a big part of the team right away. Princeton finished third in the Ivy League and had the second-best three point percentage, making 35.7% of their shots beyond the arc. However, they were lacking a true sharp-shooter, as no player that attempted over 30 threes had a percentage over 40. 

Peters nailed nearly 80 threes in his sophomore season at a stellar 45% mark, and although that decreased last year as he became a focal point for ETHS’ opponents, Peters has the chance to be an instant starter to stretch the floor for the Tigers.

While the end result of Peters’ recruitment is certainly gratifying, the process is never stress-free.

“[The recruitment process] didn’t really go the way I expected it to. There were some enjoyable times, there were some frustrations, but it taught me a lot about patience, and really being truthful with how I was going about things.” 

Although Peters now knows his next chapter, there is still a page left of the current one, as the Kits will get their own ‘Last Dance’ with a record-breaking senior class’ last shot at a state championship.

“That’s a driving force for us, there’s definitely unfinished business, and I don’t think any of our high school careers would be complete without a state championship,” Peters said. “We were really close my sophomore year, I think we had a good chance last year, so ultimately this season is going to be all about that, and, hopefully, we get a season of some form. In some ways it’s kind of out of our control at this moment, but every day we’re doing stuff to prepare.”

The two seasons Peters referred to include last season, which was cut off due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as the 2018-19 season, where Evanston finished second behind Belleville West, where they were outsized by the Maroons, led by current Ohio St. forward E.J. Lidell.

Even in Peters’ freshman season, ETHS appeared down state, finishing third after a narrow 62-56 defeat. In that game, Peters scored a season-high 23 points, sinking five of his seven three-point attempts. 

In the 2019 state playoffs, Peters tallied 27 points while making an astonishing 7-8 three pointers, leading the Kits to a 94-82 victory over Rockford East, sending them to the state championship where they fell to Belleville West, 71-59.
When it’s mattered most, Peters has delivered. The Tigers scored big time by landing Peters, as they hope he can help them make it back to March Madness, something they haven’t done since 2017.

So proud of this young man right here,” Evanston coach Mike Ellis said via Twitter regarding Peters’ commitment. “His future is so bright even beyond the next 5 years.”

[Editor’s Note: At the time of initial publication, The Evanstonian used an image that featured a problematic and insensitive hand gesture. That image has since been removed.]