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.
Recruiting Roundup: Black to North Carolina; Antetokounmpo Working on St. John’s Visit; Maker Mulling UNLV
North Carolina got a jump on the Class of 2018 on Friday night when they landed a pledge from Rechon “Leaky” Black, a 6-foot-7 point guard from Concord (N.C.).
“I feel like it’s the best fit for me and my family,” Black told the Charlotte Observer. “(UNC coach) Roy (Williams) said he was going to let me play point guard when I got up there, so I feel like I can do my best up there.”
Black is the first point guard to commit to the Tar Heels as a sophomore since Kendall Marshall, according to InsideCarolina.com.
Duke reportedly offered Black on Thursday, but he ultimately chose between Wake Forest and the Tar Heels.
“If (Duke) really wanted me, they would have made me a priority overall,” Black, who averages 13 points and 8 assists, told the Observer. “So I feel Carolina is the best fit.
“I feel like everyone knew where I was going. It wasn’t that hard of a decision. I just wanted to get it over with. I got the weight off my shoulders so I can just relax and play ball and get my grades up so I can fit in up there.”
North Carolina appears loaded in the backcourt going forward. They also have pledges from 2016 point guard Seventh Woods and 2017 floor general Jalek Felton.
ANTETOKOUNMPO WORKING ON ST. JOHN’S VISITKostas Antetokounmpo, a 6-foot-8 Class of 2016 combo forward from Milwaukee (WI) Dominican, may take an official visit to St. John’s before the month ends, Scout.com reported.
SNY.tv previously reported that St. John’s was working on setting up the visit for the youngest Antetokounmpo. His oldest brother, Thanasis, plays for the Westchester Knicks of the NBA D-League, while the middle brother Giannis plays for the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I think I like the way they [St. John’s] play and I think my game will get better there,” Antetokounmpo told Scout. “I think if I’d go there, I’d improve.”
He added: “It’s kind of the same thing,. I think if I go there, they would trust me and give me minutes and that my game will improve.”
St. John’s already has pledges from point guard Shamorie Ponds and wing Bashir Ahmed for 2016.
Iowa State is also in the mix for the youngest Greek Freak, as are Memphis, Georgia, Texas, Wake Forest and Xavier.
He is averaging 10.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks through 10 games.
MAKER STILL CONSIDERING UNLVThon Maker, the 7-footer from Athlete Institute in Ontario, told ESPN’s Jeff Borzello he’s still considering UNLV on his list, along with his initial five of Arizona State, Kansas, Indiana, Notre Dame and St. John’s.
Ed Smith, Maker’s guardian, recently told SNY.tv. Oregon and UNLV — both of which have other players from Athlete Institute — have “always kept communication,” but that Maker will likely choose from among his list of five schools.
“These are the five that have been most active in recruiting Thon,” he said. “If all of a sudden something comes up and it’s a great fit, then he may look at it. But it’s kind of hard down the line to just have a new player jump in.”
The projected No. 25 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com, Maker has yet to set any official visits.
Rice on Friday landed a pledge from Robert Martin Jr., a 6-6 Class of 2016 small forward from the Tilton School and the BABC AAU program. He also considered Boston University, NOrtheastern, Duquesne and Wofford…Chuba Ohams, a 6-7 2016 small forward originally from New York, has transferred to Coastal Academy (N.J.) from Putnam Science Academy (CT). He is planning on visiting Rutgers in the near future, he told SNY.tv…Samson George, a 6-8 2017 forward, transferred to First Love Christian Academy (PA) from national power St. Anthony’s (N.J.).
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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 and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, 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.