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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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Friday / July 19.
  • Arsalan Kazemi is a 6-foot-7, 190-pound native of Iran who hopes to becomes the first man from his country to earn a college scholarship in America.

    Kazemi is currently enrolled at The Patterson School in North Carolina, where he says he does nothing but study and play basketball. He holds close to a 4.0 GPA.

    “I like the school,” he said Thursday in a phone interview. “It’s just for basketball and studying and nothing. It’s good for me.”

    Still, he misses his family, which remains half a world away.

    “Yes, it’s very hard,” he said. “I didn’t visit them in eight months now, so it’s going to be hard. It’s kind of good for me, and probably good for them.”

    Stephon Marbury will be at Knicks training camp next week, and Allan Houston will join him.

    Houston, 37, spent one week and one game with the Knicks during last year’s preseason, but told reporters he planned to try again this year. Rich Zuckerman of SNY.tv has this story on the Website.

    Meantime, Marbury told the New York Post he won’t accept a buyout of the $21.9 million he’s owed and wants to remain in New York if he’s wanted.

    With a roster loaded with seniors, juniors and experienced sophomores, Villanova coach Jay Wright likes his team going into the 2008-09 college basketball season.

    In a brutal league that could send as many as 10 teams to the Big Dance, experience will count for a lot.

    Villanova finished 22-13 a year ago, 9-9 in the Big East, which was good enough for an eighth-place finish. This year’s squad certainly has enough talent and maturity to improve on that placement.

    Here in New York City, the Mets are imploding (again), the Yankees are out of it for the first time since 1993 and Stephon Marbury appears headed out of town…yet St. John’s is grabbing a piece of the spotlight.

    Lance Stephenson, the top New York City prep player and the star of his own reality show entitled “Born Ready,” is expected to visit the Queens school today for the 2008 Red Storm Tip-Off, the school’s early version of Midnight Madness.

    “I think they’re going to have a very good shot at (recruiting) him,” said recruiting analyst Tom Konchalski, who is close to the Stephenson family.

    Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and assistant Derm Player had an in-home visit Wednesday night with James Padgett and his parents.

    “It was alright,” the 6-foot-7, 210-pound Padgett said tonight by phone. “It was informative.”

    Gonzalez and Player visited Padgett during the afternoon at Brooklyn Lincoln, also the home of star senior guard Lance Stephenson, who is expected to attend St. John’s Thursday for the 2008 Red Storm Tip-Off.

    Asked if he planned to take an official visit to Seton Hall, Padgett said: “I don’t know. (Coach Gonzalez) talked about me doing it.”

    And what does Seton Hall like about Padgett?

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