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.
James Padgett, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound power forward from Brooklyn Lincoln High School, gave a verbal commitment Friday afternoon to Maryland head coach Gary Williams.
“It came down to Pitt and Maryland, and Pitt signed two big men in the Class of 2009 so Maryland was left,” Padgett said.
Padgett took unofficial visits to a number of schools, including St. John’s, and also had in-home visits with St. John’s and Seton Hall within the last two weeks.
“I always wanted to be out of New York, experience something new,” he said.
Now he is a Terp and he hopes to be an “impact player.”
“They need some help in the post and I can come in and help them out there,” Padgett said. “(Coach Williams) said I can come in and work hard.”
“He’ll be a tough power forward for them,” added Lincoln coach Dwayne “Tiny” Morton. “I think he can have a nice college life, go to a campus and be coached by probably a Hall of Fame coach. And he’ll probably get some playing time early in his (college) life.”
What does Padgett need to work on?
“He needs to get stronger and get more playing time on the court against high level competition, which he’ll get a lot of that this year,” Morton said. “(He needs to) get stronger and bring his shot out.”
“I want to work on my face-up and my free throws,” Padgett said. “And I have to gain some weight.”
Before going to Maryland, Padgett wants to help Lincoln win its fourth straight PSAL title, and his second in a row.
Meantime, Jordan Williams, a 6-7 PF from Torrington (Conn.) High is on campus this weekend for an official visit to Maryland.
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.