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Texas A&M graduate transfer Admon Gilder commits to Gonzaga

UPDATED: Sun., May 5, 2019, 5:29 p.m.

Texas A&M’s Admon Gilder, who announced Sunday he will play for Gonzaga next season as a graduate transfer, battles Providence’s Alpha Diallo for a loose ball in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. (BOB LEVERONE / AP)
Texas A&M’s Admon Gilder, who announced Sunday he will play for Gonzaga next season as a graduate transfer, battles Providence’s Alpha Diallo for a loose ball in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. (BOB LEVERONE / AP)

Gonzaga picked up a commitment Sunday from a top graduate transfer.

Admon Gilder, who had three solid seasons at Texas A&M before sitting out last year with a health issue, tweeted his announcement with the words “The journey continues in Spokane…” and “Time to be a Zag” above a picture of himself in a Gonzaga uniform.

“Just the same values that I have for myself and my family, coach (Mark) Few has for the entire program,” said Gilder, who visited GU this weekend and committed while en route Sunday to his hometown of Dallas. “It felt like a family when I was there.”

On the court, Gilder said, “Gonzaga is a winning program. I’m a winner, I’ve been a winner since high school and I’ve been able to show it at the college level. I wanted to go someplace where I have an opportunity to win.”

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Gilder fills a big need for the Zags, who lost guards Josh Perkins and Geno Crandall to graduation and could lose starting wing Zach Norvell Jr., who has declared for the NBA Draft. Norvell, Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke and Killian Tillie received invites to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago from May 14-19.

Gilder is No. 6 in ESPN’s ranking of graduate transfers. He sat out last season with a blood clot in his right biceps. He’s been cleared to return to basketball, but he’s taking it slowly.

There was a time when it looked like he might not be able to play again, Gilder said. “It’s a thrill, a blessing, and the main thing is I kept my faith through the entire process and I had a lot of support from a lot of people.

“I’ve been doing a lot of training, doing what the doctor tells me,” Gilder added. “You don’t get everything back in a day. I’m getting strength back into my body to get back to playing. The pickup games are going to come but the main thing is getting back into condition.”

The versatile Gilder can play point guard or off guard. He said he saw a lot of time at point as a sophomore and at shooting guard as a junior. He’s regarded as a strong defender who can guard multiple positions.

Gilder averaged 12.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 2018, helping Texas A&M reach the Sweet 16. He averaged 13.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists as a sophomore. He’s started 58 of 98 career games.

Gilder’s 3-point shooting percentage improved each season, climbing from 34.7 to 37.7 to 39.5. He’s a 77.4% free-throw shooter.

“They see me fitting in as a leader, that’s important being a fifth-year guy, and the combination of being able to play the 1 and the 2,” Gilder said. “I can play in a lot of ball screens and I’m able to play at a fast pace.”

Gilder also considered TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, Kansas, Iowa State and SMU. His only other visit was to Texas Tech last weekend.

Gonzaga thumped Texas A&M 94-71 last season in Spokane with Gilder unable to make the road trip. The return game is in College Station next season.

“Having them on the schedule gives me a little better feeling, knowing that Gonzaga is a long way from my family but they will be able to make it to that game,” said Gilder, who played 11 minutes in the Aggies’ 62-61 win over the Zags at the 2015 Battle 4 Atlantis.

Gilder will go through graduation ceremonies next week with a University Studies-Business degree.

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