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.
NEW YORK — Malcolm Gilbert didn’t score a single point during Sunday’s 17-and-under Gold championship game at the Rumble in the Bronx at Fordham University.
But at 6 feet, 11 inches tall, Gilbert was a major factor in helping East Coast Elite down Andre Drummond and the Connecticut Basketball Club, 63-58, for the title.
Gilbert had five blocks on Drummond, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2012, in the first half and six total blocks in the game. He also finished with 9 rebounds — 6 offensive, 3 defensive — before fouling out with 54 seconds remaining.
“He’s intriguing because of his upside,” East Coach Elite coach Terrell Myers said before the final. “What people don’t understand is, they see 6-11, they look at him as an offensive player. He’s not an offensive player, he’s a defensive player.
“He can score the ball but I don’t think you’re going to throw it in and get Dwight Howard or Hakeem Olajuwon. That’s not who he is. Maybe you’re looking at more of a Greg Oden-type once he bulks up. He’s definitely similar to him.”
Despite his offensive limitations, Gilbert, the No. 7 center in the Class of 2011, has drawn interest from Duke, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Miami, Ohio State, Penn State, La Salle, St. Joe’s, Penn, Harvard, Princeton, Cornell and others.
“I like Duke, Ohio State and Georgetown,” said Gilbert, a rising senior at Academy of the New Church in Bryn Athyn, Pa.
Gilbert visited Harvard and Princeton during the school year and said he plans to trip unofficially to Ohio State this coming weekend.
As far as when he will decide, he said: “The start of my senior year or halfway through it.”
In the meantime, Gilbert is doing six-hour workouts with Myers, who played for Jere Quinn at St. Thomas More (Conn.), the school that Drummond currently attends.
“He works extremely hard,” Myers said. “We go about six hours a day.”
How good can Gilbert become?
“As good as he wants to be,” Myers said.
FREE THROWSA.J. English, a 6-3 shooting guard from Middletown, Del., was named MVP of the finals after dropping 28 points in the victory. “A.J. will probably end up in the Big East,” Myers said. “Marquette is showing the most love.”…The team also features 6-5 rising senior guard Elijah Bonsignore, who will prep this year at St. Thomas More. Bonsignore was especially impressive in the semis, when he dropped 17 points on Jermaine Sanders and New Heights…Jaylen Bond, a 6-7, 220-pound combo forward from Plymouth Whitemarsh who committed to Pitt over West Virginia and Temple, battled an ankle injury but was still impressive in asserting himself. Bond said he wants to improve his handle and perimeter game going forward and imagines himself as a “Sam Young-type player.” “I think you’ll see a lot more to come of him,” Myers said. “He’s getting better and better.”
(Photo courtesy Rivals.com)
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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.