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.
Huntington (W.V.) Prep shooting guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes on Saturday committed to Florida State, the alma mater of his father, choosing the Seminoles over Illinois and UConn.
“In the end with Florida State I just felt it was a family atmosphere,” the Canadian said on CIA Bounce TV. “Coach [Leonard] Hamilton is a great guy and their coaching staff, I just felt really welcome to the program. I feel like I can go there and make an immediate impact in the best conference in America.”
The 6-foot-4 Rathan Mayes averaged 14.6 points, 4.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds a game while shooting 44 percent from 3-point range as a junior.
“Everybody knows I can score the ball at a high level,” said Rathan-Mayes, whose father, Tharon, averaged more than 23 points one season at FSU. “I feel like I can go in and be a leader and help lead the team to ultimately a national championship , because winning’s everything.”
“Obviously, I think anyone who’s watched X knows he can play a couple different positions,” Huntington coach Rob Fulford previously told SNY.tv. “He’s a scorer. He’s a really good shooter. He can play the point. He can play the two. It depends on the style of play.”
Florida State is also recruiting Huntington’s Andrew Wiggins, a 6-8 small forward considered the best high school player in America. Wiggins has yet to announce whether he will reclassify to 2013 or remain in the Class of 2014.
“It’s crazy,” Rathan-Mayes told ESPN.com last summer. “[Our fathers] playing together and they played on the 76ers together, as well. Me and Wiggins growing up together and playing on the same AAU team, now on the same high school and maybe going to college together — that’s pretty special.
“We lived about 15 minutes from each other [in Canada], but our dads were always together. We hung out all the time and played ball at the rec center.”
UNLV ADDS KENDRICK
UNLV continued to stockpile transfers by adding former Memphis wing Jelan Kendrick.
The 6-7 Atlanta native and former McDonald’s All-American committed to the Rebels Saturday while on an official visit, according to CBSSports.com.
“I believe it’s been a learning experience for me,” Kendrick told CBSSports on Saturday. “I’ve become a better person and my goal at UNLV is to help them win a national title and reach my final destination as an NBA player.”
Kendrick was twice suspended at Memphis for behavioral issues before being kicked off the team. He never played a game there.
He landed at Ole Miss but spent only one season there. At one point during a game against Alabama, he went into the stands during a game to get his girlfriend.
The Las Vegas Sun reported he will spend this year at Indian Hills Community College before arriving at UNLV next season as a junior.
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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.