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.
Philadelphia junior Rakeem Christmas, the No. 6 prospect in the Class of 2011 and considered the top defensive player in the class, has cut his list to eight schools.
The universities that make up this list include: Baylor, Florida, Georgetown, Indiana, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas and Villanova.
“I appreciate the interest that many coaches have in me but these are the schools that my family and I think would be a good fit for me” the 6-foot-9 Christmas, out of Philly Northeast Catholic, said in a statement.
“My family and I are thankful to everyone that has offered me a scholarship and participated in my recruiting. I’m looking forward to my season at ANC and playing for Coach [Kevin] Givens. I’ve played with some of the players during the summer and I had a good time. After summer is over I want to make sure that I do well and improve in class and on the court.”
Christmas excelled over the summer at the NBA Players Top 100 Camp, the Rumble in the Bronx, Amar’e Stoudemire and Lebron James Skill Camps, Nike’s Peach Jam, the Orlando Super Showcase and most recently the Adidas Nations Global, in which he played for USA’s 2011 Team coached by Frank Johnson.
Next week he will be at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 game at Rucker Park in New York.
“It’s been a process, one that we wanted to make sure that the best choices were made for Rakeem,” said Amira Hamid, Christmas’ aunt and legal guardian. “He has been receiving scholarship offers since the 8th grade. With such an overwhelming number of schools interested in him, it was important that we did our due diligence with finalizing this list.”
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.