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.
New Jersey and New York are home to some of the top high school basketball programs in the nation. The Holy Trinity of St. Anthony, St. Patrick and St. Benedict’s in New Jersey routinely produces Division 1 players sought by elite programs from across the nation. A year ago, St. Anthony under Bob Hurley and St. Benedict’s under Dan Hurley, Bob’s son, finished 1-2 in most national prep polls and combined to send 9 players to the Division 1 ranks, including two to Rutgers, one to Pitt, one to Louisville and one to defending national champ Kansas.
This year, St. Patrick under head coach Kevin Boyle features North Carolina-bound guard Dexter Strickland as well as George Mason commit Paris Bennett. The Celtics also feature highly recruited junior guard Kyrie Irving and super-sophomore Mike Gilchrist.
St. Anthony is led by senior wing Dominic Cheek, who is considering Villanova, Kansas, Memphis, Rutgers and Pitt. The Friars also have a trio of D-1 big men in Ashton Pankey, Devon Collier and Derrick Williams.
At St. Ben’s, Rice commit Tamir Jackson leads a team that includes junior Texas commit Tristan Thompson and Pitt-bound forward Lamar Patterson.
And don’t forget Paterson Catholic, which has Fordham-bound wing Lance Brown and a number of talented juniors in Fuquan Edwin, Jayon James, Jermaine Peart and Trevor Clemmings.
In New York City, Rice, St. Raymond’s and Christ the King also routinely produce top talent, led this year by Lincoln senior Lance Stephenson.
If you’re a college coach, you could fly into Newark or New York City, get a rental car, hit half a dozen of these schools and potentially land some of the top players in the nation. If you work hard, develop relationships with the local coaches and can sell the kids on what your program has to offer.
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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.