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.
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Phil Wait, a 7-foot-1, 265-pound center originally from Manchester, England, has committed to St. John’s.
“That is true,” said Gregor Makechnie, head coach at Proctor (N.H.) Academy, where Wait played previously. “He’s a long player. He’s every bit of 7-1, he’s almost 7-2.”
Wait, who spent this past season at the Gran Canaria Basketball Academy in Spain, previously had offers from Providence and Rhode Island and interest from Kentucky, but opted to spend a year in Spain, Makechnie said.
“When he was with us he needed to improve his toughness,” Makechnie said. “He spent last year at a basketball academy in Spain and all the reports are that he’s developed some toughness. We have another one of our kids from England was at my place last weekend and he said (Wait) has really gotten a lot tougher.”
Makechnie said he Wait also needed to get stronger, which he believes he has.
“I haven’t seen him play since he was with us,” the coach said. “Assuming he’s made gains, he’s been in a program where he’s playing basketball six hours a day and he made the type of gains, he probably can come in and help right away.”
St. John’s now has 12 scholarship players, so if they add 6-5 shooting guard Donald Williams, who finished up a visit Thursday, that would max them out. The Johnnies have two seniors next season, Anthony Mason Jr. and Tomas Jasiulionis.
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.