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.
Julius Randle Excited for Visits, Hopes for McDonald’s Game
Julius Randle has been sidelined with a fractured foot, but the 6-foot-9 power forward out of Prestonwood (TX) Christian is looking forward to three college visits in the New Year and hopes to play in the McDonald’s All-American game.
Randle will visit N.C. State the weekend of Jan. 26 before heading to Texas Feb. 9 and Kansas Feb. 16. He has already taken officials to Kentucky (Sept. 15) and Florida (Oct. 6). He is also considering Oklahoma.
“My next visit will be to N.C. State the weekend of Jan. 26, and I cannot wait to get down there to hang out with the coaches and my boy Rodney (Purvis),” Randle wrote on his USA Today blog. “I talk to him all the time and he tells me about how he’s doing and things like that. The whole team and staff seem pretty close, so I really like that.
“I will visit Texas on Feb. 9 and Kansas on Feb. 16. I’m looking forward to taking those visits; I know I’ll have a good time and see everything they’ve got to offer.
“I’m not sure when I’ll decide; I may do it after my high school season is over or after the college season is over. I’m not sure yet. I know that it’ll be time to decide before you know it so I’ve been thinking about things a lot more now.”
Randle, who injured his left foot during a Nov. 24 game against Duncanville (Texas), said he expects to be back before the three-month timeframe.
“I’ll go ahead and let you guys know that I don’t see it taking three months to get healthy,” he wrote. “I’m gonna go hard and I plan to be back sooner. I know that Marcus Paige at UNC had the same injury and he was back in eight weeks, so I know it’s possible. Don’t worry, if it takes the three months I’m OK with that, but my goal is to be back before then.”
The McDonald’s Game is set for April 3 in Chicago and Randle hopes to be invited to the game even if he misses a significant portion of his season.
“It’s been a lifelong dream of mine, and to think that something that was completely out of my control could stop me from playing really bothers me. I’ll definitely be back to 100 percent well before the McDonald’s game so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to play. I had heard that you have to play in a certain amount of games during the season to be eligible, and I’m working hard to get back as soon as I possibly can.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to play in the game. I have heard that the rule was put in place for guys who move around to different schools, and that’s not me. I’m just hoping that the committee will be able to see what I’ve done to this point and feel like it’s enough to get me in, especially since it was a freak accident that has me sidelined and I’ll be back and ready way before the game.
“Growing up you always see your favorite players play in that game. I’ve talked to so many guys who have played in that game and they’ve told me how great it is.
“All of my favorite players have played in it, and I want to have my own experience at the game. I’ve got a 3.1 GPA and I definitely don’t get into any trouble or anything. I just work hard at this game and I’m hoping that’s gonna be enough to get me in. I’m leaving it in God’s hands.”
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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.