By: DAVE SPAHNSpecial to ZAGSBLOGCHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.- We often see athletes thanking God after a big win or talking about their faith life during the good times, but rarely do we see someone consistently speak about their faith at all times in sports. In our politically correct society, players usually keep their faith to themselves and stay away from constantly talking about God in the media.
Not Leron Black.
A Memphis native, Black makes sure every coach recruiting him knows the most important part of his life. He frequently talks Bible verses with coaches and has in-depth conversations about his beliefs with the schools recruiting him.
“All the schools know I’m big on my faith, so we talk about that a lot and just kind of get a feel for each other,” he said.
The 6-foot-8, 220-pound Black de-committed from Baylor in January and instantly became oe of the more sought after names in the country. He mentioned Indiana, Florida, OSU, Illinois, Baylor, UConn, N.C. State, and Tennessee as schools on his list at the moment. Indiana recently jumped into the picture, and Black said they have made a strong impression.
“They [Indiana] offered at the end of May, and we’ve been talking every day since,” Black said. “I’ve been talking to [assistant] coach Kenny Johnson. He’s a really nice guy. I can talk to him about my faith all the time. I love that.”
Black has put up a strong showing at the NBPA Top 100 Camp so far and continues to prove his lofty ranking. His extremely long wingspan, ability to run the floor, high vertical leap, and non-stop motor make him a threat on both sides of the ball. He rebounds at a very high rate and never takes a play off, which are two traits coaches salivate over.
Black said he will be taking his time with the college decision process and has no favorites. He claimed Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and UConn as the schools recruiting him the hardest right now
“I just feel like I did it too early,” he said of his commitment to Baylor. “I feel like I kind of rushed into my decision to commit, but Baylor is still on my list. I want to take my time and analyze the whole process.”
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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.