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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Rod Odom is headed West.
“I am an Arizona Wildcat,” the 6-foot-8, 210-pound Odom, a senior from Long Island who plays at Concord (Mass.) Middlesex, said by text.
Reach by phone a little after 6 p.m., Odom said he made the decision “about 10 minutes ago.”
Odom chose Arizona over Vanderbilt, West Virginia and Boston College. He is ranked No. 88 overall in the Class of 2010 and No. 19 among small forwards.
“I was real close to going to Vanderbilt last night but I’ve been talking it over with my mom and my dad and we made that decision,” Odom said.
Odom is a long, athletic wing who is also a strong student. He considered some elite academic schools, including Harvard and Vanderbilt. On the court, he can guard multiple positions and play several on offense.
“I’m just looking to do whatever it takes to win,” he said. “Just come in and be ready. I’ll probably play the three or the four and that’s pretty much it.”
Odom becomes the latest New York player drawn to the West Coast by head coach Sean Miller and assistant Book Richardson, a New York native.
“The faith that the coaching staff had in me was a big factor,” Odom said. “Arizona is a prestigious school in terms of basketball. Those two things put together is what did it for me.”
He added: “Book, he was a big factor. It wasn’t just him. It was all the coaches. I liked every single one of the coaches. I would say it was all of the coaches.”
Last year, Richardson and Miller persuaded New York natives Kevin Parrom and Lamont “Momo” Jones to sign with the Cats, and more recently Harlem junior wing Sidiki Johnson committed. Johnson is now at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark.
“I say it’s a testament to the coaches to be able to get someone like Sidiki or myself or Kevin or Momo to come out there because it’s not exactly a car ride out there,” Odom said. “The New York guys who are there defintely have faith in the coaching staff.”
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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 and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, 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.