Could Lance Stephenson be headed to the PAC-10 Conference?
A new school has become involved in the Stephenson Sweepstakes and things are starting to heat up.
“Arizona has expressed interest in Lance Stephenson,” a source with direct knowledge said. No campus visit has been set, however.
Sources say Stephenson is not completely happy with his current choices — he has taken official visits to St. John’s, Maryland and Kansas — and is open to other options.
Arizona recently hired former Xavier coach Sean Miller and assistant Book Richardson.
Richardson,a New York City native, is already involved with New York wing Kevin Parrom, who is slated to visit Arizona next weekend.
Richardson also has a relationship with Stephenson, the 6-foot-5 McDonald’s All-American out of Brooklyn’s Lincoln High School.
Richardson coached Stephenson and his teammates to a gold medal at the USA Basketball 2007 Men’s Youth Development Festival. That team was filled with superstars, including Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins, Ed Davis, Devin Ebanks, Willie Warren and Greg Monroe.
Arizona has produced 29 NBA players, 13 first-round picks and eight lottery picks, so if Stephenson is looking for a future in the NBA, Arizona wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
“That’s what I’m playing hard for. That’s one of my goals. If I make it to the NBA, that’s going to change my whole life around,” Stephenson told me in February.
Stephenson seemed poised to pick Kansas at the McDonald’s All-American Game on March 31, but held off on announcing his decision.
Kansas subsequently signed Xavier Henry, a 6-6 wing, and added his older brother, C.J. Henry, a point guard.
Now it is almost May and Stephenson is still weighing his options.
“I think I can go to any school,” he said in February. “I can’t say I’ll go here or there. I think I can go to any school and fit in, so wherever I feel comfortable and how the coach treats me and talks to me and we get to bond with each other, that’s where I’m going to go.”
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 whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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.