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.
ROSELLE, N.J. — At 6 feet, 7 inches tall, Rondae Jefferson doesn’t look like your average high school guard.
But that is precisely what has made the 2013 combo guard so appealing to so many big-time schools.
“It’s hard to get the ball from me most of the time,” Jefferson said after scoring 15 points in Chester’s 76-62 victory over Neptune Saturday in the PrimeTime Shootout at Roselle Catholic High School.
“[In] college, I want to play guard, so this summer I’m going to spend all my time in the gym working on my point guard skills.”
Jefferson, who’s listed by Rivals as the No. 5 small forward in the Class of 2013, said he always had a good handle, even while he was a young pup in the Chester Biddy Basketball Association.
“On my team I was the only guy that could dribble so my coach had me bring it up, do all extra things and all this other stuff so that was a big task for me,” Jefferson said.
“So it started from there and then it worked to AAU and now high school.”
Villanova coach Jay Wright and assistant Jason Donnelly, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard and Rutgers coach Mike Rice were among those on hand to watch Jefferson Saturday.
“Mike Rice, that’s my guy right there,” Jefferson said. “He’s a funny guy. I like the team. They play hard. They upset a couple people [Florida and UConn] and that’s pretty big.”
Jefferson says he knows Rutgers guard Myles Mack as well.
As for Seton Hall, “Coach Sha[heen Holloway], he’s a pretty good guy. He’s cool. He called me and I like Seton Hall.”
Villanova is kind of the hometown favorite along with Temple.
“Jay Wright, great guy, he cracks jokes,” Jefferson said. “He’s a well-dressed guy; he almost look as good as me.”
Jefferson’s older brother, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, is a junior forward at Temple, and so the Owls are also a factor.
“As far as Temple, I like Temple a lot,” he said. “Coach Fran [Dunphy] , he’s a great guy and I think it’s a good school.”
Jefferson also mentioned to Alex Kline that Pitt, Georgetown, Oklahoma, Texas, St. Joe’s and Syracuse were involved, but said he’s open in his recruitment.
In the meantime, Chester hasn’t lost a game since December 2010 and Jefferson says the main goal is to keep winning.
“We just want to focus on winning the state championship,” he said.
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.