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.
Konchalski Talks NY-NJ Class of 2010; Pinkston Now the Top Player in the Big Apple
**Check out this interview where Tom talks about some of the top players in the area in the Class of 2010, including Jayvaughn Pinkston, Kyrie Irving, Tobias Harris, Devon Collier and Doron Lamb.**
Now that Lance Stephenson is off to college at Cincinnati, the top high school player in New York City in the Class of 2010 is Bishop Loughlin forward Jayvaughn Pinkston.
But the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Pinkston very nearly left the Big Apple to play for Oak Hill (Va.) Academy, a national powerhouse that features former Loughlin guard Doron Lamb.
“There was some thought of him transferring, but we feel confident after meeting with the coaching staff [led by first-year coach Ed Gonzalez] and the guidance counselors that Loughlin is the best place for him right now,” said Kimani Young, the athletic director of the New Heights AAU program and an advisor to Pinkston.
A powerful force down low, Pinkston is ranked No. 85 in the Class of 2010 by Rivals.com.
“He’s a Jamal Mashburn clone,” recruiting expert Tom Konchalski told SNY.tv. “He has the body of blacksmith, the touch of a surgeon. He has very soft hands. He has very good skill with the ball. He can handle the ball on the perimeter, he’s not going to guard a perimeter player right now. He can pass the ball, can get to the basket, he can shoot threes. He has a strong body where he can post and score inside. He’s a really skilled player who has a mature understanding of the game. He’s got to learn to bring it every single night, which hasn’t always been the case in the past.
“He’s as good as we have in the metropolitan area.”
Pinkston hopes to lead Loughlin to a city title now that Stephenson is out of the picture. Stephenson led Brooklyn Lincoln to four straight PSAL championships.
“If we work hard enough, the team could be good if we work hard enough and I play to my potential,” Pinkston said.
While many of his friends are playing this week at the Reebok All-American Camp and the LeBron James Skills Academy, Pinkston is in summer school at Loughlin.
“Yes, it is [hard],” Pinkston said. “I was looking forward to coming out and playing against some of the top players in my class.
“I’m trying to become a better student-athlete so that’s why I decided to go to summer school.”
Pinkston will compete in several events in July, including an event in Springfield, Mass., this weekend; the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas; and the Summer in the City AAU event July 28-31 St. John’s. (That event is still looking for teams if coaches are interested).
As far as colleges, Pinkston has been hearing from St. John’s, Marquette, Villanova, UConn, Arizona, Miami, Tennessee, Rutgers and Seton Hall.
Young has previously said that St. John’s was the leader for Pinkston, but now Young is no longer on the staff there and that could change.
“On the St. John’s thing, when I was there we had a strong connection and relationship,” Young said. “The coaching staff has done a great job recruiting him but at the end of the does Jay wants to see what opportunities are going to be out there for him.”
Whatever happens, Pinkston says he’ll wait until the late signing period next April to sign.
“Yes,” he said, “I just to wait out my options.”
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.