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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.
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Friday / January 19.
  • Konchalski Talks NY-NJ Class of 2010; Pinkston Now the Top Player in the Big Apple

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    **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.”

    .

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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.

    • AZ,

      Good stuff on the NYC players.

    • I would like to add this for your readers….It is story which should shed some light…

      I have always like Bejarano.
      He has had a tough life and still keeps his chin up.

      We are sorry for your loss, Bejarano.

      “Basketball is the thing I love to do, so I have to do it for myself and my dad,” he says.

      “There was a message from his uncle: “Give me a call. It’s really important.”

      Then he got called into an office at the camp, where a psychiatrist was waiting for him. Bejarano doesn’t remember doing anything until the psychiatrist handed him a phone with his mother on the line. She told her son that his biological father, the one he was just starting to get close to, had been murdered in an apparent home invasion in Phoenix.

      Bejarano sat there quietly for a minute, unable to process what he had just been told.

      Then he started crying.

      Bejarano is rated the nation’s No. 64 player in the ESPNU 100. Although he is a guard and his father was a big man, it was impossible for family members not to see the connection — from the way they ran the floor to the way they smiled.

      Growing up, Bejarano knew his father but had little contact with him. Instead, he lived with his mother, Barbara Butler, and four siblings. By the time Bejarano entered high school, Gosa began to reach out. Initially, Bejarano wasn’t interested. He’d become a big-time basketball player by that point and thought that was the only reason his father was coming around.

      “I told him I didn’t want him in my life,” Bejarano says.

      On the plane ride back to Phoenix after receiving the news of his father’s death, Bejarano did his best to drown out the rest of the world. He slipped on his headphones and kept his head down throughout the long flight.

      The day after his father’s funeral, he was on another long flight, this time to Boston for the Paul Pierce Skills Academy. It wasn’t easy, but Bejarano knew that’s what his dad would have wanted.

      “I knew my mom and dad still wanted me to go, so that’s where I got the strength from,” he says.

      After three days in Massachusetts, Bejarano made his way to Ohio for this week’s LeBron James Skills Academy. He felt it was going to be a good experience from the moment he was handed his uniform — No. 32, the same number his dad wore. Unfortunately, Bejarano turned his ankle Sunday night and wasn’t able to play Monday.

      It’s frustrating not to be able to play now, forced to sit on the sidelines while his teammates run with LeBron. A month ago, Bejarano would have texted his father seeking some encouraging words. He now finds himself fighting the urge to do so.

      “I feel like texting him at times, but I know I won’t get a response back,” he says.

      Bejarano admits he feels cheated at times. He sees other kids with their fathers and wishes that could be he and his dad. More than anything, Bejarano wishes he and his father had reconciled earlier. Even though there’s nothing he could have done, Bejarano wonders how things would have been different if he had been closer to his father.

      “Sometimes I feel like I had a part in this,” Bejarano says. “Maybe if we had that father-son relationship, he wouldn’t have been there. Maybe we would have been at the movies or something.”

      But because basketball is the thing that helped bring them together, it only makes sense that it will continue to unite them in the aftermath of Gosa’s death. Bejarano will play with a heavy heart this summer as he thinks about his father and the lost opportunity at a long, meaningful relationship. But make no mistake: He will play.”

      Gosa wouldn’t take no for an answer. He kept calling, text messaging and occasionally stopping by. Eventually, he proved his true intentions.

      “As time went by, I felt differently,” Bejarano says. “We finally made a connection.”

      The messages they exchanged started off being about basketball but over time evolved to “I love you” and “We should hang out soon.”

      Bejarano remembers texting his dad shortly before heading off to the University of Virginia for the NBPA camp.”

    • Wow.

      • AZ,

        The matter of the Bejarano needs CLOSURE.

        How many have been victims of such actions?

        And the Arizona Wildcat nation is becoming involved and would like closure for the family.

        It is believed that the Phoenix police department has leads into the matter.

        HOWEVER, the authorizies need OUR help.
        More information is needed.
        If you or anyone has information on the Bejarano case, please contact Phoenix police immediately or federal agents.

        Longhorn nations is also becoming involved and hopefully, someone saw something or remembers something…..

        Lets bring closure to this.

    • AZ,

      Lets get back to NYC recruits, ….LAMB.

      Have you read the Book on Lamb?

      Lamb will be making more visits.
      He is still wide open (after his visit from Calicat Land).

      Lamb will visit three more schools.
      And within two weeks from the last visit, Lamb maybe ready to make some Commit news.

      West is beginning to talk about Lamb….

      wildaboutazcats.com/2009/07/08/the-5-star-debate-what-is-their-worth/comment-page-1/#comment-51596

      /wildcatsportsreport.com/forums-home/wsr-free-forums

    • AZ,

      The news is big for that SEX Kitten that Rick Pitino would take acouple of days a week….

      Yes the SEX for Head Coach story is sweeping the nations excpet for Kentucky

      Those children have been destroyed by this SEX affair.

      http://www.whas11.com/video/index.html?nvid=378195

      Check out sugar dad.com…..