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.
There is a great deal of news coming out of the basketball office at Westchester Community College, and some of it is very sad.
Head coach Winston Nicholas passed away Monday morning after a long battle with cancer, according to assistant coach Mickey Carey.
“Coach Nicholas passed away this morning,” he said Monday by phone.
That news clearly overshadows the fact that 6-foot-11 center Jarrid Famous will play for South Florida head coach Stan Heath, picking that school over Arizona, Missouri, Pittsburgh and Seton Hall.
“It’s true,” Carey said of the commitment. “I think he felt comfortable with the situation. He likes coach Heath and Coach [Byron] Samuels. It’s the Big East. He wanted to play in the Big East.” [Samuels has since left the staff, although it’s unclear if he was fired by Heath or left for his own reasons.]
The commitment news was first reported by Rivals, which noted that Famous also has several relatives who live in the Tampa area.
A Bronx native, Famous initially committed to Hartford out of Blessed Sacrament in New Rochelle and then decommitted after Larry Harrison was let go. He then went to Houston Inner City Academy with his teammate Curtis Dennis.
“He’s a guy who’s obviously made tremendous improvement in the last few years,” recruiting expert Tom Konchalski said. “He’s a very, very nice kid. He’s made a lot of progress and he’s moving in the right direction.”
Famous made his decision Sunday night after taking an official visit to Arizona, according to Carey.
Famous was supposed to make the official announcement Wednesday night at a team dinner, but that will be postponed because of Nicholas’ passing.
South Florida has also landed 6-6 guard Mike Burwell, an East Brunswick, N.J. native who prepped at South Kent; 6-6 guard Jordan Dumars of Detroit; and 6-4 guard Shaun Noriega of North Port, Fla.
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.