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.
Gary Trent Jr., Wendell Carter Jr. Package Deal Could Be In Works
By RYAN FISH
CHICAGO– The way top prospect Gary Trent Jr. is playing this week at the Nike Global Challenge, he should have no problem gaining the attention of any big-time program. Coaches aren’t the only ones interested in making Trent a member of their team, though.
The Minnesota native reiterated that he and fellow Class of 2017 prospect Wendell Carter Jr. have discussed becoming a package deal, committing to the same school with the goal of winning in March. The two previously told SNY.tv about the idea earlier this summer during USA Basketball U16 tryouts.
“It’s very serious,” Trent said Friday. “I knew of Wendell [before], but the opportunity that we had together at USA Basketball, we became closer together. We were just in the hot tub one day and we were talking. It was like, ‘hey man, we should go to college together… we could win the national championship.’
“We’re very serious about it. Hopefully in the long run we can start taking visits here or there together and see what school’s about, see what we like.”
One of the schools Wendell has been linked to repeatedly is Duke, which could lead some to speculate that the two stars could team up under Mike Krzyzewski.Carter Jr. told SNY.tv at the Peach Jam that Duke was recruiting him the hardest.
“It seems like they just keep bringing in great players each year,” Trent said when asked about the Blue Devils. “It’s a testament to the university, the coaching staff and how they conduct themselves. So it’s really just factoring in all that, that’s why they get those big names.”
Trent has made a great impression all week for not only the Duke staff but the rest of his suitors, too. Several big-name coaches—many of them with links to Trent—attended the Challenge’s semi-final game Friday afternoon between Trent’s USA Midwest squad and USA West. Roy Williams, John Calipari, Shaka Smart, Tom Izzo, Steve Alford, John Beilein and Avery Johnson were in attendance, to name a few, while Coach K saw Trent play on Thursday.
USA Midwest lost the semifinal, dropping a tough 103-98 game. Trent played well throughout, finding his stroke from deep and creating plays on offense. But Trent fouled out in the final minutes and was unable to lead a comeback. Despite the bitter ending, he seemed to be relishing in the experience.
“[We’re] playing against high-level players, great players that in your high school season you don’t get to play against,” Trent said. “Great players, game in and game out, and that’s what we’ve been doing this whole weekend. I’m glad I got invited.”
Though both Trent and Carter were invited to Chicago, the two are on different teams at the tournament. As the two go through their recruitment, that may change sooner or later.
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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.