Mount Vernon point guard Jabarie Hinds enjoyed his weekend visit to UConn so much, they jumped to the top of his list.
“They’re No. 1 on my list,” Hinds said Sunday.
Hinds is also considering West Virginia, which he visits Oct. 15, and UNLV, which he has already been to.
The 5-foot-11 Hinds may also take an official to UCLA Oct. 23, but he could pull the trigger before then.
“I might make a decision before that,” he said.
With UConn junior point guard Kemba Walker likely to go pro after this season, the Huskies need a starting point guard for 2011.
“Kemba’s supposed to leave after this year so the opportunity’s going to be there,” Hinds said. “Coach [Jim] Calhoun told me he wants me. He saw me play with the team and said I can come in and play right away.”
Former Mount Vernon star Ben Gordon thrived at UConn and is now in the NBA.
“Obviously, Mount Vernon has had tremendous success with Coach Calhoun and UConn before,” Mount Vernon coach Bob Cimmino said.
Asked if he thought Hinds could step in as a freshman and start in the Big East, Cimmino said Hinds wasn’t worried about starting.
“I don’t think that’s very important to him,” Cimmino said. “As long as he’s happy and comfortable with his surroundings. That’s our goal, to find a comfortable place where he can thrive.”
As for what Hinds will bring to the college level, Cimmino added:
“He’s a very, very disciplined hard worker. He will bring a tenacity on defense and his athleticism to any program.
“In addition, he’s very similar to Ben in that he has great qualities to assimilate. Some people push themselves in a new situation. He’ll watch where he walks for a little while and he’ll quickly assimilate and understand what it takes in that particular program to be successful.”
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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 whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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.