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.
The recruitment of Arsalan Kazemi is heating up to a fevered pitch.
Kazemi, a skilled 6-foot-7 forward originally from Iran now at The Patterson (N.C.) School, and his adviser, Anthony Ibrahim, had an in-home visit Tuesday night with Rice head coach Ben Braun and Ibrahim said it went very well.
“It was great,” Ibrahim said by phone. “We had the visit. It went very good. They’re definitely in the mix, along with the other two (Seton Hall and Maryland).”
Still, coaches from St. John’s, Maryland, Missouri and Cincinnati have also been in this week, and Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and coaches from Oklahoma State and Western Kentucky are coming in tomorrow (Thursday).
Ibrahim said Cincinnati associate head coach Larry Davis was in the gym Monday at The Patterson (N.C.) School, and offered on the spot.
“He saw Arsalan dunking left-handed and he was jumping up and down,” Ibrahim said of Davis. “They offered him on the spot. He said, ‘I am the associate head coach. We love him. We’ll take him right now. We’ll offer him on the spot.'”
Ibrahim said coaches from Oklahoma State also called expressing interest after a JUCO recruit backed out.
“They want to be back in,” Ibrahim said. “They had a No. 1 JUCO player and it didn’t work out for them.”
Ibrahim will also speak today to a Maryland coach, he wasn’t sure if it was head coach Gary Williams, and with Gonzalez on Thursday.
Ibrahim said Seton Hall wanted Kazemi to visit Oct. 12, but now it may happen Oct. 25. Officials to Maryland and Rice are still pending.
“They’re looking at Oct. 25th (for Seton Hall),” Ibrahim said. “Maryland, we’re not sure. We’re trying to sort it out right now. It could be before, it could be after.”
Ibrahim said Kazemi hoped to decide by November but was open to options.
“It’s still wide open,” he said. “If schools want to come in, we’ll let them in. We want to explore all the options. We’re giving everybody a fair shot. Bring on your head coaches, your decision-makers that will talk to us. We want to look at them face-to-face and eye-to-eye sand see how much they want him. And if it’s the right fit, if it’s the right marriage, we’ll go on with it.
“At the end of the day Arsalan Kazemi will make his own decison. I will advise him, sort out the good and the bad, lay out the facts.”
Will a decision be made by November?
“We’re shooting for that,” Ibrahim said. “That’s our goal.”
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.