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.
Kentucky to visit Aidan Igiehon as courtship heats up; Igiehon has three official visits
By ADAM ZAGORIA
As Kentucky’s courtship of Aidan Igiehon heats up, assistant Tony Barbee and head coach John Calipari are expected to come watch the 6-foot-10 center from Lawrence Woodmere (NY) Academy and Team Rio on Monday.
“Barbee said, ‘We’re going to be there,’ I think they’re both going to come,” Lawrence Woodmere coach Jeff Weiss said Friday by phone.
Kentucky has stepped up its courtship of Igiehon recently and the big man recently cut his list to four schools: Kentucky, Louisville, Oregon and St. John’s. He has home visits coming up with St. John’s (Sunday), Louisville (Sunday) and Kentucky (Monday). Weiss, who has already coached Igiehon for four years, said he believes an official offer from Kentucky will be forthcoming soon.
Igiehon has set official visits to Oregon (Sept. 13), Louisville (Sept. 28) and St. John’s (Oct. 5), but not to Kentucky yet.
“[Kentucky] was going to visit the two guys on his Under Armour team (Bryan Antoine and Scottie Lewis) and him in the same kind of sequence,” Weiss added before Antoine committed to Villanova.
Lewis has a list of seven, with Florida and Kentucky the clubhouse leaders. Lewis will visit both schools this month.
Speaking to Pat Lawless of PrepCircuit.com, Igiehon spoke highly of Kentucky
“Kentucky is an interesting one,” he said. “CoachBarbee has told me that they want to get me to the next level. They think that if I’m willing to do what it takes, Kentucky is the best place for me. It’s a great fit for me and they have a great track record with big men. I’m trying to go the NBA and they think it would be a great fit if I were to commit there. They want me to trust what they can do in the process.”
According to 247Sports, Igiehon is ranked as the No. 24 overall player in the Class of 2019 and the No. 2 player from the state of New York.
Kentucky expects to lose several frontcourt players to the NBA, with sophomores P.J. Washington and Nick Richards both on NBA radars. Thus, the Wildcats will need to replenisth their frontcourt.
“I don’t know enough about the specific guys but when I talked to coach Barbee, it sounded like they were going to lose the majority of their frontcourt players,” Weiss said. “That’s what it sounded like when I spoke to him.”
Meantime, the other schools remain involved.
“Oregon texts daily, I think they’re coming whenever they’re allowed,” Weiss said. “I think the 9th is the first day if I remember correctly. They’ve led me to believe they’re coming soon and they keep sending me texts, ‘See you soon, see you soon.’
“I think that Louisville and Oregon are going to come really hard now. And St. John’s is local, I’m assuming they are also.”
Weiss said he compares Igiehon’s body type to a young Amar’e Stoudemire or Dwight Howard.
“His upside and his physicality is unbelievable,” he said. “He’s got muscles on top of muscles and he’s very athletic. He jumps, runs, really athletic and his skillset is is pretty good for a guy that size. He’s big and strong. I compare him physically to Dwight Howard and Amar’e Stoudemire when they came out of high school.
“I think Aidan’s upside his enormous and if you know him, he’s a wonderful kid,” Weiss said.
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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.