Derrick Jones Drops 24 in Reebok All-Star Game; Planning Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana, Louisville, Syracuse, Florida Visits
PHILADELPHIA — Playing in front of a hometown crowd Friday evening in the Reebok Classic Breakout, Radnor (PA) Archbishop Carroll star Derrick Jones put on a show.
It seemed every time you looked up, the 6-foot-7 wing was soaring to the basket for a windmill dunk or throwing down an alley oop. He finished with a game-high 24 points.
The crowd of head coaches on hand at the camp’s end included Florida’s Billy Donovan and Illinois’ John Groce, but a slew of other heavyweights watched Jones during the three-day camp.
“I mean, it’s just great to be blessed to have all these college coaches here and just watching all us top players play, and it’s just great to be playing,” Jones said.
Having visited UConn recently, Jones is planning August visits to Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, Indiana, Syracuse and Florida, as previously reported by SNY.tv.
“I’m looking forward, just to be able to go out and talk to the coaches and everything, talk to them face-to-face instead of having them call me or text me,” Jones said.
Jones has been linked to Syracuse and UConn, but insists he’s wide open in the recruiting process.
“I’m wide open for all the other schools, too,” he said.
Jones said Kentucky coach John Calipari “texted me before this camp started and said, ‘Have a great camp’ because he said he was going to be here.”
“It’s just a great honor to have a coach like that, he makes a lot of lottery picks,” Jones said. “Just having him text me and tell to have a great camp, I think I did.”
UConn coach Kevin Ollie was also in the house this week for Jones, along with Diamond Stone, Steve Enoch, Christ Koumadje, Tyus Battle, Derryck Thornton and others.
“It’s great just to have another coach like that, coming off an NCAA Tournament champion, just having him come to my game and watch me play,” Jones said.
Syracuse assistant Gerry McNamara was also at the camp and has reached out to Jones
“He told me I played great and just told me to keep up the great work,” Jones said.
Photo: Steven M. Falk/Philadelphia Inquirer
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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.