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.
UNION, N.J. — St. Patrick senior guards Michael Gilchrist and Derrick Gordon have already signed with colleges, Kentucky and Western Kentucky, respectively.
Yet college coaches will continue to flock to see the Celtics over the next few years because of their abundance of big, young talent.
Dakari Johnson is a mobile, athletic 6-foot-10 freshman whom head coach Kevin Boyle believes can grow to 7-feet or 7-2.
When I spoke to Johnson after St. Patrick’s 73-65 victory over St. Benedict’s Sunday at Kean University, he listed Syracuse, Kentucky, Georgetown and Villanova as schools that have already shown interest.
“Syracuse is my favorite school,” he told Alex Kline in another interview.
Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua, Rutgers head coach Mike Rice, Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard and associate head coach Shaheen Holloway, Georgetown coach John Thompson III and assistant Mike Brennan, St. Joe’s coach Phil Martelli and Wagner coach Dan Hurley were on hand Sunday to watch the game.
Johnson has taken unofficials to Georgetown, Xavier and, most recently, Seton Hall.
“I don’t think there’s anybody who’s not going to offer him,” Boyle said. “He just has terrific potential. His biggest thing is to get in great condition.”
Austin Colbert, Johnson’s teammate, is a 6-9 sophomore who runs and finishes well. He is still lean, but you can tell by the width of his shoulders that he can still bulk up his frame nicely.
Colbert told Alex Kline in the above interview that he’s heard from Georgetown, Xavier, Pittsburgh and Seton Hall, among others. He’s visited Georgetown and Seton Hall unofficially. Former St. Patrick big man Grant Billmeier is currently on Willard’s staff at The Hall.
On top of Johnson and Colbert, another guy making a name for himself is uncommitted senior guard Chris Martin, a transfer from St. John’s in Washington, D.C., who went 5 of 7 from 3-point land and hit for a career-high 22 points against St. Ben’s.
His father, Bill Martin, was a McDonald’s All-American who played with Patrick Ewing on Georgetown’s 1984 NCAA championship team.
“Chris averaged 15-20 points a game in one of the best Catholic leagues in the nation, if not the best,” Boyle said. “He’s a hell of a shooter and obviously he shot the hell out of the ball [against St. Ben’s].
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.