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.
C.J. Aiken, a 6-foot-9, 185-pound center ranked No. 4 at his position in the Class of 2010, has verbally committed to St. Joseph’s.
Aiken, who averaged 14 points, 11 rebounds and 8 blocks last season at Plymouth Meeting (PA) Plymouth Whitemarsh, chose St. Joe’s over Temple and La Salle.
“Yes, it felt right,” Aiken said by phone. “I was comfortable with them. It’s one of the first schools that gave me a scholarship. They’re nice.”
“For C.J. in the local area, the folks that were on him earliest were St. Joe’s, Temple and La Salle,” Plymouth Whitemarsh coach Jim Donofrio said. “They all had a head start on building a relationship and getting to know him. He’s a very quiet kid so he’s not a big fan of the whole recruting game.
“This past high school season, he really got to know the coaches from those three schools in particular really well. Coach [Fran] Dunphy and Coach [John] Gianinni are terrific guys with terrific programs, but he seems to be the most comfortable with St. Joe’s. He came to an understanding the last couple of weeks that no matter who comes after him in the next year, it will be hard for any new school to show they care about him as much as St. Joe’s.”
Donofrio said Aiken is still developing his game but has “a lot of potential.”
“I’ll be a post-up shooting forward,” Aiken said. “I need to work on dribbling some more and shooting faster, pretty much try to get better at everything.”
“His shooting touch is terrific,” Donofrio said. “His feel for the game is terrific. He has an ability to kind of score from a lot of different angles and areas, getting free from defenders. He’s able to play the perimeter for that size rather fluently.
“Defensively, he’s a terrific shot blocker, he has a terrific feel on defense. He played a little bit harder every year. He’s rarely in foul trouble. He’s a huge presence defensively for a high school team.
“He’s got to work on strength and he’s gotta get his energy up a little more when he plays. The more competition he faces the more he’ll realize that he has to keep plugging away.
“His potential is limitless as far as his ability to do certain things.”
(Photo courtesy Suburanonesports.com)
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.