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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / October 19.
  • adidas Nations Profile # 1 – Dominic Cheek

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    Dom_cheek_playaz_use_thisSt. Anthony junior wing Dominic Cheek said he’s up in the air about which college to attend but that he hopes to decide by the end of the summer.

    “New schools are popping up every day,” Cheek said after Saturday’s morning workout at the adidas Nations event at Seton Hall. “UConn just popped out of nowhere and offered me a scholarship. They want me to come and visit the campus, and Florida, too.”

    Cheek, ranked by Rivals as the No. 4 shooting guard in the Class of 2009, said he had no visits planned yet, but “we’re going to set up a date soon (with UConn).”

    Villanova, Texas, Wake Forest, Seton Hall and Rutgers are also involved.

    Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez is working hard to land the 6-foot-6 Cheek. Gonzalez had a private meeting with Cheek in his office for about 15-20 minutes during a break in Saturday’s action.

    “Rutgers and Seton Hall both have a chance,” said Cheek, whose averaged 12.3 points and seven rebounds for a St. Anthony team that finished a perfect 32-0 and won New Jersey Tournament of Champions, the 10th in St. Anthony’s illustrious history.

    Cheek’s St. Anthony teammate, McDonald’s All-American Mike Rosario, would love to see Cheek follow him to Piscataway.

    “Mike really, really wants me to go to his school, but I’m just taking it easy,” Cheek said.

    And what did Cheek think of Rutgers landing St. Benedict’s 6-8 center Greg Echenique and Blair Academy 6-7 forward Austin Johnson, both juniors?

    “That was great because it’s going to put Rutgers on the map now,” he said. “A lot of people are going to want to go to the school now because they got the two big kids and they got a McDonald’s All-American.”

    As far as a style that suits him, Cheek said he’s been watching the NCAA tournament to keep tabs on the teams still alive, including Texas and Villanova.

    “(I want an) up-and-down style,” he said. “Probably not too many plays or anything. I’m watching everyone who’s recruiting me right about now and see how they play and everything.”

    Cheek is on the 2009 adidas US Naitonal team that also includes St. Patrick of Elizabeth junior G Dexter Strickland and Brooklyn Lincoln SF Lance Stephenson, although Stephenson did make the Seton Hall workouts because he’s competing in the New York State Federation Tournament of Champions.

    Hurley_courtesy_usa_today“(Cheek) is coming in a little bit ahead fundamentally because he plays for a great high school coach (Bob Hurley) and plays with other great high school players,” said adidas Nations coach Ed Schilling, a former Nets assistant. “But the thing I’ve been impressed with is just his willingness to listen and to learn, and really take what we’re giving him and trying to apply it and then trying to increase the intensity as he gets it down. He wants to get better.”

    The adidas Nations teams will meet again for training in Portland, Ore. in mid-May and in Los Angeles in mid-June. They will reconvene in Dallas Aug. 7-12 for the adidas Global Basketball Experience.

    And when does Cheek hope to decide by?

    “End of the summer, probably,” he said.

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.