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.
If nothing else, Justise Winslow is going to see a lot of high-profile football games this fall.
The 6-foot-6 Houston St. John’s wing visited Texas A&M last weekend for Johnny Football’s big showdown with Alabama, and he will take an official visit to Florida this coming weekend when the Gators host Tennessee in an SEC tilt.
The following weekend Winslow will take an official to UCLA, though there isn’t any football on campus that weekend.
“We went to Texas A&M last weekend and this weekend we’re going to Florida,” Robin Davis, Winslow’s mother, told SNY.tv by phone Wednesday night.
“We’re just taking it one weekend at a time. I just want him to enjoy his high school, that’s one of the most important things for me right now, for him to have fun.”
Winslow is currently considering eight schools in Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas A&M, Arizona, UCLA and Stanford. He told SNY.tv at the Elite 24 that it would be tough to cut three of them, and he has yet to cut his list.
“It’s hard, the whole process has been hard, but it’s something I gotta do just to move forward so I can get closer to making a decision,” he said. “It’s hard, but it’s something I gotta do.”
Last week the family hosted UCLA, Duke, Arizona, Kansas, Florida and Texas A&M in for home visits, but not Kentucky or Stanford.
His mother said they are planning to visit Duke, Arizona, Stanford and Kansas in October, though she was not certain of the dates.
“I don’t know how the last three are going to play itself out,” she said. “I don’t know who’s going to get the unofficial. I don’t know how we’re going to do that.”
Asked if Kentucky — which offered Winslow this summer — was still in the mix, Robin said: “I don’t know honestly if Justise is considering Kentucky. I don’t know if he has been in contact with Kentucky.”
Davis said Winslow was supposed to attend the recent Kentucky Alumni game, but she wanted him to enjoy his last few weeks of summer as a high school student.
“I wanted him to relax, to get acclimated to school and have fun,” she said. “Justise was non-stop the entire summer. No time to have fun and be a kid.”
Winslow and Mater Dei (Calif.) wing Stanley Johnsontalked about packaging together — possibly at Arizona, Florida or Kentucky — but Davis said she wasn’t sure if that would materialize.
“I think what happens is when they go to these camps and they’re in the same room and they start talking, I’m sure in their perfect world it will happen,” Davis said. “Stanley used to play with Justise in the sixth grade here in Houston. His mom used to fly him in and they established a relationship then.
“But I think everyone is looking for something different and hoping that they’ll have a friend join them.”
Davis said she’s looking more to establish a personal connection with the coaching staffs as her son moves toward a decision.
“With Justise’s choices, he can’t make a bad choice so we approach our visits more on the comfort level,” she said. “I look at it as basketball is going to take care of itself….But are you going to take care of my son? It’s more of a comfort that way for me. That’s where our visits are now, because how many times can you tell me this is where you’re going to play him?
“It’s more on the personal side. Our A&M visit was pretty relaxed, it was very pleasant. It was about basketball and academics, don’t get me wrong, but it was more on the relaxed side.”
With a big-time football game thrown in as well.
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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.