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.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — One afternoon early last week, Georgetown assistant coach Kevin Broadus pulled his rental car into the parking lot at the Community Education and Recreation Center in Jersey City — the St. Anthony’s High School practice facility known as the CERC.
Once inside the gym, Broadus was one of several Division 1 assistant coaches watching an open gym featuring the Friars, the program run during the season by legendary Naismith Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley.
NEW YORK — When Chris Mullin first took the St. John’s job, he vowed to try to keep New York City’s best players at its Big East school.
“I think it’s really important that we dominate New York,” Mullin said in April. “If there’s a good player in New York City he needs to come to St John’s if he wants to play the best basketball.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Mullin and his staff got New York City’s best senior when Shamorie Ponds, a 6-foot-1 guard out of Brooklyn Thomas Jefferson, committed to St. John’s in his high school gym.
“I’ll be attending St. John’s,” Ponds said in front of a packed house.
Ranked the No. 8 combo guard in the Class of 2016 by 247Sports.com, Ponds also considered Providence and Creighton. But after Providence landed point guard Maliek White on Sunday, all signs pointed to Ponds picking the Johnnies. Ponds actually said he decided on St. John’s last week, while his father Shawn said the decision came on Monday.
Thon Maker is scheduled to take his SAT on Saturday and after that he could begin to plan to some recruiting visits.
“He’ll take the SATS this weekend [and] then we’ll start getting fully into it, and start building into it,” Ed Smith, Maker’s guardian, told SNY.tv by phone on Monday evening from Canada.
Maker said he hopes to take some visits during the season.
“As the season goes on, that’s what we look forward to do,” he said. “Last year I got a chance to take a few visits on the road so I really want to do something like that again. I know I’ll definitely take a few, if not all my officials on the road also, but I don’t know any particular dates.”