St. John's Lands Wing Felix Balamou | Zagsblog
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Saturday / May 28.
  • St. John’s Lands Wing Felix Balamou

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    St. John’s has landed a verbal commitment from Felix Balamou, a 6-foot-3 wing from Our Savior New American.

    Balamou announced on his Facebook page and is the Johnnies first commitment for the Class of 2012. West Virginia, Oregon, Virginia Tech and UConn were also involved with Balamou, a native of Guinea.

    Balamou considered attending prep school next season but will instead head to St. John’s, said Our Savior assistant Eric Jaklitsch, who added that Balamou is qualified to play college ball.

    Balamou averaged about 16 points for an Our Savior team that finished 25-5.

    “He’s a 6-3 wing that was a sleeper at the beginning of the year who really started to develop during his senior year, Jaklitsch said. “He’s got world-class athleticism and a developing skill package and he was able to use that combination to be our leading scorer this year.”

    “He’s a terrific athlete, and a very nice kid,” New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski said. “He’s about 6-3 and he’s a wing. He’s not quite a guard skill-wise. He has tremendous athleticism. He possesses more hops than Heineken.

    “He has soft hands. He’s not a 3-point scorer but that doesn’t mean he can’t become one. He has a fairly soft touch. He can stop on a dime and can really elevate into his jump shot. He’s certainly a Big East athlete.”

    St. John’s needs to sign four or five key players to add the mix, especially if Big East Rookie of the Year Moe Harkless turns pro.

    The Johnnies are also involved with 6-9 shot-blocker Chris Obekpa, Balamou’s high school teammate.

    “I’m sure it will help with them getting Obekpa,” Konchalski said.

    Said Jaklitsch: “They’re two different people. Felix made his own decision. It has nothing to do with Chris. Chris hasn’t made a decision on what he’s going to do.”

    St. John’s is also involved with bigs JaKarr Sampson of Brewster Academy and Orlando Sanchez of Monroe College as well as guards Thaddeus Hall of Thomas Jefferson, Trivante Bloodman of Olney College and Carlos Morris of Arlington Country Day. The Johnnies also have transfer Jamal Branch, a point guard who will become eligible in December.

    St. John’s coach Steve Lavin recently Tweeted: “No doubt a bright future. Very strong nucleus returning and Johnnies in position to close on an impressive 2012 recruiting class.”



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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.