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.
By ALEX KLINE
Every year, New York has a few top tier players. For the class of 2013, Terrence Samuel is an elite star.
A 6-foot-3 point guard from Brooklyn South Shore, Samuel (pictured on left) has already made a lot of noise on the high school court, as well as the AAU circuit with New Heights.
“He’s one of the best players in the country in terms of size, speed and skill level,” said New Heights AD Kimani Young. “He’s a 6-3 point guard who can dominate a game without scoring. He has tremendous upside. He’s already a solid Big East/ACC recruit.”
Samuel is already hearing from “Louisville, Villanova, Pittsburgh, Iowa State, Rutgers, St. John’s, Cincinnati, George Mason, Georgia Tech and Oregon State.”
The talented guard has already taken unofficial visits to Villanova, George Mason and Rutgers. While no schools are standing out at the moment, Samuel says, “Cincinnati and Villanova have been to a lot of my games.”
Samuel was not always a star basketball player, though. Matter of fact, he has only played for a few years despite growing up in a city centered around hoops.
“I used to play football,” he recalled. “I didn’t start playing basketball until my cousin introduced it to me at the end of seventh grade.”
Now 16, Samuel has the opportunity to do something most in his family have not gotten the opportunity to do. Rather than just focus on athletics, “I just want to be the first of all my brothers to go to college.”
**On Thursday afternoon, junior forward Jeremy Hollowell of Lawrence Central in Indiana will make his highly-anticipated college decision. The small forward will announce his choice at his school and is deciding between Purdue, Indiana, Ohio State and Cincinnati. With rumors trickling out there that Indiana will be the choice, this could put the Hoosiers in the spot to have the top recruiting class in 2012. Tom Crean’s class already features in-state stars Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Perea and Ron Patterson, as well as big man Peter Jurkin, a native of Sudan.
**After putting on a show against St. Anthony (N.J.) in a TOC final loss on Monday night, Sekou Harris is starting to attract the attention of mid-major schools. The 5-foot-11 junior point guard out of Plainfield (N.J.) collected his first offer from UMES after the game. Things are looking up for the under the radar talent. Both Hofstra and St. Peter’s are on the verge of offering with plenty of other interest piling up.
**Tons of official visits are going on this weekend for a few notable unsigned seniors. Ryan Rhoomes of NIA Prep (N.J.) will take an official visit to TCU this weekend. The school had stood out to him as a potential destination. The newest member of the Big East conference could add a star in the making in Rhoomes this weekend. Along with that, Eric Katenda, a forward out of Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas, will take an official visit to Wake Forest, while his teammate, Gabe Olaseni, will take an official visit to Iowa. To add to the fun, a hot junior college commodity, power forward Stan Simpson of Illinois, will take a trip to Memphis.
**With Missouri head coach Mike Anderson’s departure to Arkansas, two crucial 2011 recruits are left in an awkward position. Power forward Otto Porter and shooting guard Ben McLemore, two in-state prospects, are both down to two schools each and Missouri is one of them. Porter, who is considered a strong lean towards Missouri over Georgetown, now has a tough decision to make. As Georgetown is in the rear view mirror, they do not have an available scholarship at the moment. McLemore, who is expected to announce the weekend of the Final Four, is also considering Kansas. With this move, Kansas may be in the driver’s seat to land the athletic scorer.
**Florida State offered Billy Garrett Jr, a sophomore guard out of Morgan Park in Illinois. Garrett is the son of DePaul assistant coach Billy Garrett. The Blue Demons have also offered Billy Jr.
**With 2012 star Justin Anderson of Montrose Christian off the board to Maryland, the Terrapins are focused on picking up their next big stud. Shaquille Cleare, a 6-foot-9 center from The Village School in Texas, is being carted by the ACC school. Head coach Gary Williams and his staff watched Cleare play earlier in the week and have made him a priority on the recruiting trail. Williams had a good history with producing big men. Cleare will be the most highly-recruited big man for Maryland since Chris Wilcox and Tahj Holden.
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.