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.
Lance Stephenson is planning visits to Kansas and Memphis, according to Hassani Stewart, Stephenson’s coach with the Raising Champions AAU team.
“We don’t have anything concrete,” Stewart said by phone. “We’re planning on visiting Memphis and Kansas. We’re looking at Oct. 15 or 17 for Kansas. I have to talk to (head coach) Bill Self and (assistant) Joe Dooley. Memphis we’re definitely not sure. We’re supposed to go down for their Midnight Madness (Oct. 17).
“What’s throwing us off is this iS8 stuff.”
The iS8 playoffs begin Oct. 7.
Kansas is also hosting its “Late Night in the Phog” event Oct. 17, and Dominic Cheek of St. Anthony of Jersey City may well attend.
Stewart said Stephenson also considered visiting USC for the Ohio State football game on Sept. 13 but “decided not to go on the trip.”
Stephenson is also considering USC and UCLA.
“We’re trying to get three visits in prior to the start of the (high school) season,” Stewart said.
Whatever happens, Lance won’t decide until the spring.
“After the season,” Stewart said.
As far as academics, Stephenson has taken the PSAT and his “grades are on track” to be academically eligible, Stewart said.
The coach added that Stephenson wants to play in college, not go overseas or to the Army, options which he and his father have mentioned.
“He really wants to go to college,” Stewart said. “He’s still a kid. He’s a ballplayer and he wants to perform. He doesn’t want any special treatment.”
Stephenson recently had an in-home visit with St. John’s head coach Norm Roberts and assistant Fred Quartlebaum, and followed that up with an unofficial visit to Queens for the the St. John’s Midnight Madness event.
Stewart said Stephenson would have to decide whether he wants to remain close to home for college or leave the watchful eye of his family.
“The deciding factor right now is A) does he want to go away; or B) does he want to stay home,” Stewart said.
“If he stays home, you have to deal with the media at St. John’s and he’s going to have a lot of pressure on him here. I don’t think that scares him. Will it scare him more being away from home, or dealing with the pressure (of New York City)?”
Stewart said Stephenson has admiration for all the college coaches involved.
“They’re all great coaches and all great schools,” he said.
Stewart added that Stephenson learned from his experience this summer in which he was cut from the USA U18 team, and hoped to enjoy his senior season with his teammates. Lincoln is pursuing its fourth straight PSAL title.
“He’s taken the constructive criticism,” he said. “He wants to be positive with his teammates, minimize his antics, smile more and enjoy his last year of high school because once it’s over, it’s over.”
(Photo courtesy Daily News)
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.