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.
By ADAM ZAGORIACHAMBLEE, Ga –Precious Achiuwa is in no rush to make a college decision.
The 6-foot-9 McDonald’s All-American forward from Montverde (FL) Academy says he’s “open” in his recruitment and is eyeing a decision sometime in late May. He’s already visited North Carolina, Kansas and Memphis, among others, and plans to take more visits.
“Me and my family were thinking about late May, maybe around that time,” he said of a decision timeline. “Right after GEICO [High School Nationals April 4-6 in New York City], we’re going to sit down and we’re going to make decisions and it’s going to benefit myself moving forward.”
He added: “My recruitment is still open to every single school that’s been recruiting me since Day One. For me I’m just looking for a place where I can fit in where my game is going to translate, where I’m going to get better.”
North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and assistant Hubert Davis have made Achiuwa a priority, watching him recently both at Montverde and at the Metro Classic in New Jersey. UNC commit Armando Bacot has also been busy this week recruiting Achiuwa and Oak Hill Academy (VA) point guard Cole Anthony to UNC.
As for his recent official visit to North Carolina for the Duke game on March 9, Achiuwa came away impressed.
“It was good,” he said Tuesday. “I went to the game. That’s probably one of the biggest baskeball games in terms of the college level so the game was a good game just being able to be in that type of atmosphere. It’s different when you watch actually there in person, so I think the game was really good.”
Kansas has also been heavily involved. Jayhawks assistant Norm Roberts has visited Montverde several times.
“I think the pitch for every school has been the same in terms of just coming in, fitting into the system they have and just being able to play and taking a role right away,” he said. ”
Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway and staff have come on strong and he has visited there unofficially.
“I like the way they play,” he said. “I like the coaching staff a lot. They play a fast ball. They have the coaching staff that have been where a lot of us area trying to get to, so obviously they have an idea. They have the feel of what it’s like to be at the next level. They’re gonna translate that to us and teach us what the next level is about.”
Memphis commit James Wiseman, the newly-minted Gatorade and Wooten National Player of the Year, is actively recruiting Achiuwa and uncommitted forward Trendon Watford.
“Yes, yes,” Achiuwa said. “He’s talked to me about Memphis and what we may be able to do next year.
Asked he might fit alongside the 7-foot-1 Wiseman he said: “I feel like I can play alongside anybody because of the way my game is set up. Because of the type of player I am, I can play multiple positions. It doesn’t matter who I play with, I can conform to playing with any type of player.”
Another school hot on Achiuwa’s trail are the Georgia Bulldogs, with head coach Tom Crean visiting the uncommitted forward last week.
“Tom Crean came over and we talked about what might happen if I went there,” he said. “He talked about I would fit in with the guys coming in and how he’s going to help my game improve towards the next level. We talked about a lot of things, not just basketball.”
Georgia currently has a four-man recruiting class for 2019, headlined by McDonald’s All-American Anthony Edwards, who is playing alongside Achiuwa on the East Team Sunday.
“I talk to Anthony a lot about recruitment, Georgia, and all,” said Achiuwa. “It’s all about whatever is going to be the best fit. A lot of people have their own opinions. I’m not going to go off of someone’s opinion. I’m going to go off of what’s best for me and my family moving forward.
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.