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.
St. Benedict’s Prep sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo will commit to Texas today on his 16th birthday.
“I’ve been thinking about it a long time,” Kabongo, who is averaging 9.5 points, 4.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds for a 13-0 team, told Jerry Meyer of Rivals. “I’ve been calling all the coaches recruiting me and just didn’t feel the connection with the other coaches that I felt with Coach [Rick] Barnes and the other Texas coaches. It felt like family with Texas.
“Also, the style of play fits me perfectly. They play fast and run the pick and roll. Texas has a proven system for developing great point guards.”
Texas has developed elite point guards T.J. Ford and D.J. Augustin, both of whom are in the NBA and Kabongo hopes to follow in that path.
The 6-foot-2, 160-pound Kabongo chose the Longhorns over Wake Forest, Kansas, Villanova, Florida, Florida State and UConn.
“He committed on his birthday because he knows where he wants to go and he liked the significance of doing it on his birthday,” Grassroots Canada coach Ro Russell, Kabongo’s AAU coach, said by phone.
Kabongo is the second of Dan Hurley’s St. Benedict’s players to commit to Texas, following 6-8 junior forward Tristan Thompson, who also committed as a sophomore.
“That’s a good bonus, that situation,” Russell said. “The main reason behind it is he had obviously been getting recruited since his freshman year and had visited quite a few schools unofficially and he had an opportunity to see quite s a few schools. He really liked Texas far ahead of any other school in terms of coaching staff, style of play and opportunity as a freshman.”
The St. Benedict’s roster already includes Thompson, Rice-bound point guard Tamir Jackson and Pitt-bound forward Lamar Patterson. A year ago, the Gray Bees sent three players to the Division 1 ranks in Samardo Samuels (Louisville), Greg Echenique (Rutgers) and Scott Machado (Iona).
The Gray Bees will play in the National High School Invitational, a new event being put together by ESPN, Nike and Paragon Marketing. It is set for April 3-5, the Final Four weekend, and will be held at Georgetown Prep in Washington, D.C.
MARVELL WAITHE UPDATEFor those interested in the saga of Canadian Marvell Waithe, the 6-8 forward is averaging 19.1 points and 9.1 rebounds for Tallahassee Community College, which is 12-6.
Waithe, who has drawn comparisons to Tayshaun Prince and Corey Brewer, fought the NCAA for over two years regarding his eligibility before opting to go the JUCO route.
Russell said he was being recruited by UConn, Florida State and Florida, among others.
“Right now, he’s just wide open,” Russell said.
NIA SCHOOL PLAYERS COMMIT
Several players from the NIA Prep School in Newark, N.J. have committed to Division I schools. David Laury, a 6-8 forward, has committed to Western Kentucky. Read the Rivals story here.
Also, 6-2 PG Isaiah Wilkerson is now starting at NJIT.
Finally, 6-9 forward Sean Berry committed to Cal-State Fullerton Friday.
NIA is 12-3 on the season and will play The Patterson (NC) School in the Patterson School Tournament Feb 12-14. Patterson is No. 1 in the National Prep Poll.
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.