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.
Rabb Visits Carolina, Duke, Georgetown; More Trips Planned
Ivan Rabb, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2015 according to ESPN.com and a potential NBA lottery pick in 2016, visited a trio of historic college basketball programs this week.
The 6-foot-10, 210-pound post player from Oakland Bishop O’Dowd tripped to North Carolina, Duke and Georgetown on Monday-Tuesday and all three will continue to recruit him moving forward.
“It was an incredible experience. I mean, how many people get a chance to visit Duke, Georgetown and North Carolina within 24 hours?” O’Dowd coach Lou Richie asked SNY.tv by phone Wednesday evening.
“Probably nobody because you have to take officials and officials are 48-hours, so the one thing we walked away from it with was you have to surround yourself with great people. And we’re not just talking about basketball, we’re talking about great people. If you want to achieve greatness or you want to continue to get better, you have to have great people around you.”
Georgetown, which has been on a recruiting roll as of late, was the last visit.
“Georgetown was the last visit, it was incredible,” Richie said.
“Great academic institution. Great view, great scenery. Got a chance to spend time with John Thompson Sr., a coach that I think everybody looks up to and admires. Not only from his coaching perspective, but just what he stands for. It was great to spend time with him, absolutely incredible. Absolutely incredible.”
Georgetown obviously has a strong tradition of great big men and they emphasized that to Rabb.
“They just said a lot of teams in the NBA use some form of Princeton and he’d get a lot of touches and he would be used in a way that would accentuate all of his skills as a stretch four, stretch five, rebounding, passing ability. He would get better, bigger and stronger and have the ability to play against the pros in the summertime when they come back. The Georgetown family, the network, the connections.
“We spent time with the Graduate School of Business with the Dean there and they showed him about the program and the connections that his players have gone on to create.”
As for Duke, Rabb was not initially slated to visit there, but he ended up going on Monday after Carolina and they will now recruit him moving forward.
“Duke was real short, we got a chance to meet with Coach K,” Richie said. “Coach K and Ivan’s family sat down and talked about their recruitment or lack of recruitment and why. I think there was some miscommunication and they are on the same page now. And Ivan has said that he wanted Coach Krzyzewski and Duke to recruit him.”
Asked if Duke formally offered Rabb, Richie said, “I didn’t hear Coach K say that. Coach K did say if you were to say you would come here right now, of course we would be excited….He was more so, we want to coach you, you want to be recruited. We’re on the same page, let’s continue to build a relationship.”
Duke has Jahlil Okafor coming next season, but he could well be one-and-done, opening up a spot in the paint for Rabb should he elect to go there.
Prior to Duke, Rabb spent nearly five hours at North Carolina Monday and met with former Oakland Tech star Quentin Thomas, a 6-3 guard who played at Carolina.
“Went to some classes, spent a lot of time with the coaching staff,” Richie said. “Quentin Thomas came up and spent time with us. I used to train Quentin and Quentin is still around the area and is very involved. His younger sister is best friends with Ivan so it was good to see a familiar face.”
California-Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Arizona, Kansas and Kentucky are also recruiting Rabb, who hopes to visit all of them this summer.
“Ivan’s goal and his family’s goal is to visit all the schools that are on his list,” Richie said. “It’s just a matter of can we that happen.”
Rabb plans to trim his list and take officials in the fall.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.