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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Back from Kentucky, Gordon Still Targeting Spring Signing
Aaron Gordon is back from his weekend official visit to Kentucky and still targeting a spring signing, his AAU coach told SNY.tv Monday evening.
“Yeah, but it could change tomorrow,” Mark Olivier, executive director of the Oakland Soldiers, said by phone. “You never know, you know? His plan is to do it in the spring so he wanted to watch the games [during the season].”
The 6-foot-9 Gordon has now taken official visits to five schools — Washington, Arizona, Oregon, Kansas and Kentucky — plus an unofficial to Cal.
He was not immediately available for comment Monday, but Tweeted on Sunday: “UOrgeon, Uwashingon, Ukansas, Uarizona, Ukentuky…this is gunna be tough.”
Gordon is one of several high-profile recruits and likely future NBA lottery picks who are expected to sign in the spring.
Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle are also in that group.
The early signing period begins Wednesday and ends Nov. 21.
In a recent article in the Mercury News, Gordon, out of San Jose Archbishop Mitty, said he was tiring of the recruiting process.
“Playing basketball is fun, and that’s what gets you to this point,” Gordon told the paper. “But the actual recruiting is not fun. A lot of people want to put their hands on my decision. But it’s not theirs. It’s mine.”
Added Gordon’s father, Ed: “We’re certainly not rushing him. But yes, we’re ready to have this be over.”
Still, Olivier said the family was used to the process, having gone through it with older brother, Drew.
“They’ve been through it with Drew, so it isn’t their first rodeo by no means,” Olivier said.
Washington has long been considered to have an inside track because head coach Lorenzo Romar and Ed grew up in the same Los Angeles neighborhood.
Arizona, meantime, has a pipeline to the Soldiers program, having landed Josiah Turner, Nick Johnson and Brandon Ashley in recent years. (Turner is no longer with the program.)
“I just think that they like Washington and I don’t think it’s one ahead of the other or anything like that,” Olivier said. “Aaron’s a kid that gets the vibe, and once he gets the vibe, that’s who he’s going to go with. It’s where he thinks it’s going to be a good fit at the end of the day. It’s going to be his decision.”
Kentucky already has a loaded class for 2013 with forwards Marcus Lee and Derek Willis and guards/wings Aaron and Andrew Harrison and James Young.
The Wildcats also remain in the mix for both Randle and Wiggins in the spring, but Olivier said none of that would scare or deter Gordon from potentially choosing the defending NCAA champs.
“Have you ever see Aaron Gordon play?” Olivier asked rhetorically. “I don’t think it’s a question of if he can fit in. I don’t care what school he goes to. For his situation, he wouldn’t have trouble fitting in anywhere.
“Aaron offers some things that, he’s like Blake Griffin, man. I’ve been very blessed to have him for the last two years in our program. I know the kid’s heart, his toughness. That kid’s going to be on the court. When you compare Aaron to all those kids, I’m not worried about Aaron. I think some of those other kids, it might be vice versa.”
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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.