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.
Florida State has added a giant.
7-foot-4 Jean Marc Christ Koumadje of Montverde (FL) Academy verbally committed to the Seminoles on Monday, Koumadje’s mentor, Sulieman Holman, told SNY.tv.
Koumadje also considered UCLA, UConn, SMU and Georgia Tech, and was to have visited SMU this coming weekend.
“He liked what Coach [Leonard Hamilton] had to say,” Holman told SNY.tv. “He felt Coach Ham built the best relationship with him off the court and that was very important to Chris. The on-court will take care of itself. The relationship with the head coach was Chris’ No. 1 priority. The fact that Bacon and Beasley committed did not hurt, either.”
Koumadje — whose journey to the U.S. from the African nation of Chad we profiled this summer — visited Florida State on the same weekend that guards Malik Beasley and Dwayne Bacon visited — and both of those guards ended up committing to FSU.
Now they will all be teammates beginning in 2015.
FSU also has a pledge from 6-5 Tilton (N.H.) School shooting guard Terance Mann. With four pledges, they are likely done for 2015.
“He is seeking a school that will put him in position to go to the NBA, a school that has a legitimate big man coach to help develop him and a school with exposure on the national stage, a school that will be in the NCAA Tournament regularly,” Holman recently said of Koumadje.
Montverde coach Kevin Boyle, who coached current Kentucky big man Dakari Johnson at St. Patrick in Elizabeth, N.J., believes Koumadje can get a lot better.
“He’s only started playing a couple years ago, so he hasn’t played long but he’s a great athlete in terms of his ability to run and catch the ball,” Boyle said. “He’s very fast, can run the court, has good hands. He just has to get a lower base, a lower center of gravity. He also has a nice righty-lefty jump hook, but he’s not yet able to establish position at 220 pounds. He’s gained weight, so I think in a couple years when he gains weight and gets his center of gravity lower, I think he’s got a big upside.
“He’s working out with Doral [Moore], who’s a potential NBA first-round pick, and Chris really makes him work and change his shot at 7-4. And he’s starting to stay without fouling. Last year he couldn’t getting in the game. This year he will get a lot of game time and probably in two years, he’s a major factor in college basketball.”
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.