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.
NEW YORK — He is the No. 1 player in the Class of 2012 and a potential future NBA lottery pick.
But Andre Drummond is temporarily off limits to the media.
His coaches with the Connecticut Basketball Club would not let the 6-foot-10 Drummond speak with the media this weekend at the Rumble in the Bronx at Fordham University.
Drummond had 13 points on 6-for-19 shooting, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 turnovers as CBC lost to East Coast Elite, 63-58, in the U17 Gold championship game.
He had his shot blocked five times by 6-11 Malcolm Gilbert of Academy of the New Church. Shooting guard A.J. English earned game MVP honors after dropping a game-high 28 points for East Coast Elite.
“After the [Bob Gibbons] games in North Carolina, there was five, six, seven tape recorders in his face,” CBC coach Joe Gaetano said of Drummond. “He’s 16 years old. We’re trying to let him have some fun. He’s leaving this week for [USA Basketball Development National Team training in San Antonio]. This weekend, just play ball, have fun, don’t talk to anybody.”
It is still early in his recruiting process, but St. Thomas More coach Jere Quinn says Drummond likes several Big East schools.
“He seems to be most intrigued by the Big East schools, UConn, West Virginia and Villanova,” Quinn said in a phone interview. “Pitt called this week. I can’t say anybody’s working harder than anybody. Theyr’e all giving it a pretty good effort.”
A Mount Vernon, N.Y. native who now lives in Middletown, Conn., Drummond also visited North Carolina and Duke unofficially during the Bob Gibbons event.
“Unofficially he went over and took a look at Carolina and Duke,” Quinn said. “He’s a yound kid and he’s going to let it play out and see what happens over the next two years.”
Drummond has visited UConn on several occasions and lives and goes to school in Connecticut, yet Gaetano says the Huskies don’t necessarily have the edge.
“Andre lives in Connecticut,” Gaetano said. “He goes to prep school in Connecticut. And UConn is in Connecticut. That’s his only relationship. Right now, they’re a great program. So is Duke, so is North Carolina, so is Texas, so is Kentucky. They’re all great programs.”
As for the North Carolina visit, Gaetano said: “Obviously, we played in the Dean Dome. We visited the museum, but they can’t talk to you when you’re down there playing the tournament and we’ve had no conversations with them.”
Later this week, Drummond leaves for San Antonio for U17 training June 18-24.
He and his teammates will then compete in the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship for Men July 2-11 in Hamburg, Germany.
After that the CBC plays in Florida at the Super Showcase and the AAU Nationals.
“After we do the Nationals in Florida, we’ll sit down and we’ll reevaluate what things are,” Gaetano said.
While the timetable is still playing out, what’s clear is that Drummond’s ceiling stretches pretty high.
“He’s 16 years old,” Gaetano said. “He’s got very good ball-handling skills for a 6-10 kid. He’s got a pretty good mid-range jump shot. He wants to run the floor, he wants to get out and run and handle the ball. He can play with his back to the basket. He can play on the wing. He’s working on his jump shot, working on his ball-handling.”
As for next season, Quinn expects a big year.
“I think this year’s he’s gonna have a breakout year,” the coach said.
(Photos courtesy Rivals.com)
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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.