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.
As first reported here recently, St. John’s head coach Norm Roberts has added two coaches with strong New York City ties to his staff.
Kimani Young, the director of the New Heights grassroots program, will become the Head Team Manager/Video Coordinator, and Oswald “Oz” Cross of the New York Panthers becomes an administrative assistant.
“What I could bring just is positive relationships in the city,” Young, who played college ball at UTEP, told me recently. “I can bring an energy, a youthful energy and a hunger. I just want to continue that in any way I can if it turns that that’s where I’m at.”
New Heights features several talented players being recruited by a number of schools, including St. John’s. That group includes Blair Academy junior Hakeem Harris, Bishop Loughlin senior Jayvaughn Pinkston, St. Anthony senior forwards Devon Collier and Ashton Pankey and South Kent (Conn.) point guard Devon McMillan.
“I think it’s a terrific hire for St. John’s,” said Book Richardson, the former Gauchos director and current Xavier assistant. “And I think it’s good that Norm is giving Kimani a chance.”
Cross has strong relationships with numerous city players, including seniors Kevin Parrom and Omari Lawrence, who will play at South Kent (Conn.) this year and are both considering St. John’s.
St. John’s has struggled in recent years to land the New York area’s top talent, with players like Sylven Landesberg (Virginia), Kevin Jones (West Virginia) and Mookie Jones (Syracuse) going elsewhere last year. Among current seniors, St. John’s appears to have a real shot at Parrom, Lawrence, Lance Stephenson of Brooklyn LIncoln, Tevin Baskin of Trinity (Conn.) Catholic and Jordan Williams of Torrington (Conn.) High.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.