Naadir Tharpe to Kansas | Zagsblog
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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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Monday / May 20.
  • Naadir Tharpe to Kansas

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    Naadir Tharpe solved Kansas’ point guard concerns of the future Wednesday morning when he verbally committed to the Jayhawks.

    The 5-foot-11 Tharpe is a Worcester, Mass., native who plays for coach Jason Smith at Brewster (N.H.) Academy. He cancelled a visit to Oklahoma Wednesday and will take his trip to  Kansas as scheduled Oct. 22. He also had a planned visit to St. John’s the following weekend, which now becomes obsolete.

    “It was hard for him to call [Oklahoma] coach Jeff] Capel today,” Smith told Gary Bedore of the Journal-World. “Oklahoma was involved. UCLA came in yesterday and wanted him to visit, but his mind was set on going to Kansas.

    “The thing with Naadir, from day one, he stated wherever he goes to college, the most important thing is winning. The history and tradition was important. He won a national championship ring last year at Brewster. He wants four more at Kansas.”

    The point guard position became a priority for Kansas after losing Josiah Turner to Arizona. Oak Hill point guard Quinn Cook had also been considering Kansas, along with Duke, Villanova and UCLA.

    Tharpe averaged 13 points and six assists last season.

    Kansas coach Bill Self watched Tharpe this summer with the New England Playaz, which also feature 2012 stars Alex Murphy and 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski.

    “I’ve told a few people this … you can do as much research as you want,” Smith told the Journal-World. “Nobody involved in high school or prep (AAU) basketball has played with more high level players than Naadir. He is a true point guard. A lot of high school point guards feel they have to dominate the ball, wear the leather off it. He understands how to play the game. He is an outstanding passer.

    “He is a phenomenal kid,” Smith added. “If you randomly call anybody in our community — administrators, dining hall staff, anybody, they would rave personally about his character. He led us to a national championship at our prep school. He is a winner. He is a leader.”

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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.

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