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Irish land forward for 2013

V.J. Beachem was done waiting to make his college decision.

The New Haven junior forward called Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey Sunday and became the first oral commitment for the Irish’s 2013 class.

“It just felt like the perfect day for me and my family,” Beachem said of committing. “We had our minds made up about a week ago, but I just wanted to wait for the perfect time. And it felt like it today.”

The 6-foot-6 Beachem transferred to New Haven before the start of this school year after his original high school, Harding, closed this summer.

He averaged 18 points, 5 rebounds and 2.1 assists for Harding, as the Hawks reached the Regional championship game in their final season. Harding fell 55-47 to Columbia City.

Beachem is rated a four-star prospect by ESPN and Rivals.com. He is the No. 72 player in the Rivals150 for the Class of 2013 and is ranked the fourth-best player in his class in Indiana.

Beachem also had offers to play for Butler, Purdue, Iowa and Minnesota. Notre Dame’s style of play, the chance to stay close to home and the chance to play in the Big East pulled him to the Irish

Beachem said he isn’t worried about the current unrest in the Big East and the chance the Irish could be in a different conference by the time he arrives in two years.

“I thought about that a little bit, but in my mind, it is still going to be a great conference,” Beachem said. “I will still be committed to the program (if Notre Dame went to a new conference).”

Beachem was watched heavily by Brey and his staff during this summer’s AAU season, and he has visited Notre Dame’s campus six times.

He said the last trip in September was the one that made the biggest impression on him because he got a glimpse of what the academic life is like at the university.

“We went the weekend before Labor Day. It was a great visit for us,” Beachem said. “We got a lot of information about the academic side of Notre Dame.”

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