West Virginia University men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins has announced the signing of Jimmy Bell Jr. to a grant-in-aid for the 2022-23 academic year.
Bell, a 6-foot-10, 290-pound forward, from Saginaw, Michigan, currently attends Moberly Area Community College in Moberly, Missouri. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.
This past season at Moberly, he started 29 of 35 games and averaged 9.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Bell shot 59.1 percent from the field and 67.5 percent from the free throw line, while blocking 52 shots. He had a season-high 22 points and 17 rebounds against Metropolitan and recorded 21 points against Missouri State-West Plains. Bell had a season-high 18 rebounds against Link Year Prep and had 14 double-figure rebounding games. He was third in the country with 146 offensive rebounds and 11th in total rebounds with 317.
Bell played for coach Pat Smith at Moberly, the same school where former Mountaineer Jaysean Paige previously attended. This past season, Moberly won 28 games and advanced to the second round of the NJCAA Championship, losing to the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
Bell attended his first two years at Saint Louis. In 2020-21, he appeared in 19 games while starting the last five and shot 53.8 percent from the field. Bell had a season-high eight points against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and at La Salle and had a season-best five rebounds at La Salle. He was named to the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
As a freshman in 2019-20, he started every game except for Senior Night. Bell shot 49.1 percent from the field during conference play and 70 percent from the free throw line. He scored a career-high 12 points at Rhode Island and a career-best eight rebounds at Dayton.
“Jimmy is a big man who has the ability to score and defend inside the way we weren’t able to do a year ago,” Huggins said. “He has the ability to change offenses around the rim and the ability to score the ball close. Jimmy is a great person who will be a crowd favorite that Gabe Osabuohien was for us. He gives us an inside presence that we lacked last year.”
Prior to Saint Louis, he spent two years at Bella Vista College Preparatory School in Scottsdale, Arizona. Bell averaged 11 points and 10 rebounds as a senior. He played basketball and football at Arthur Hill High in Saginaw, Michigan, before attending Bella Vista to focus solely on basketball.