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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Dante Taylor has committed to Pittsburgh, according to Dave Telep of Scout.com.
The 6-foot-9 Taylor, a Greenburgh, N.Y. native now at Fort Washington (Md.) National Christian, made the commitment at the Triple S Harley Davidson Shootout at West Virginia.
He chose Pitt over West Virginia, Kansas, Memphis, Syracuse and Villanova.
“Pitt was there from the beginning when I didn’t have a big name,” Taylor, who averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds last year, told Scout.com.
Taylor joins St. Benedict’s Prep forward Lamar Patterson in Jamie Dixon’s recruiting class for 2009. He played well at the NBA Top 100 Camp and was recently named one of the top performers at the LeBron James US Skills Academy, yet Clark Francis says he probably won’t be named to the McDonald’s All-American Game. He is ranked No. 9 among power forwards nationally by Rivals and No. 23 overall in the Class of 2009.
Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon and assistants Tommy Herrion and Brandin Knight were on Taylor all day at this past weekend’s Reebok Summer Classic East, camping out at his games.
“His strength is his quickness and his athleticism and he’s strong around the basket,” said National Christian coach Trevor Brown, who has also coached Jessie Sapp and 2008 NBA draft picks Patrick Ewing, Jr. and Deron Washington.
Taylor left New York State after his freshman year when he was introduced to Brown and National Christian through a family friend.
“One day I went down there and visited, and I started playing with them and I liked it,” Taylor said. “So I just left and went down there.”
Taylor has since reclassified to the Class of 2009.
“I like it down there, it keeps me out of trouble,” he said. “It keeps me working hard.”
Added Courtney Abrams, a family friend of Taylor’s: “He loves it, being away from home. He works on all his grades and learning 24/7 is a new experience for him.”
Abrams said there might have been distractions had he stayed in New York.
“By him getting away, he had more time to concentrate on schoolwork and basketball,” he said.
Brown said he needs “to keep working hard and put on a little weight, a little muscle and get his perimeter game a little more polished.”
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.