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.
2020 guard Niels Lane piling up recruiting offers and interest (UPDATED)
By ADAM ZAGORIA
After spending last season at Perkiomen School (PA), Niels Lane opted to transfer to New Jersey power Roselle Catholic for his senior season.
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Freehold, N.J. native will slide in to help take over a team that was led by current Kentucky freshman Kahlil Whitney,the subject of our documentary “Year of the Dragon” and a projected 2020 NBA Draft pick.
“I’d definitely like to make my own mark there,” said Lane, who spent his first two seasons at the Hun School in Princeton. I’d definitely like to make as much noise as he did at that school.”
Lane is looking forward to playing for the Lions, a perennial contender to win the New Jersey Tournament of Champions.
“I think the way [Roselle Catholic] coach [Dave] Boff runs his system really fits hows I play,” he said. “I like to play fast. We play with a lot of space on the floor. We open the floor up and it gives the guards a lot of room to create.”
Boff, who has coached the likes of Whitney, Naz Reid, Isaiah Briscoe and Tyler Roberson, says Lane could end up being the best player in New Jersey during the 2019-20 season.
“Niels is just scratching the surface of what he can be,” Boff said. “He’s very skilled, can defend and plays with great energy. That’s a rare combination. Guys like that are special players.”
Lane runs with Team Final on the Nike EYBL circuit and will be playing his second June live event this weekend with Roselle Catholic on Sunday.
He’s recently picked up offers from Miami, Pittsburgh, UConn and Penn State, and also took an unofficial visit to Providence last weekend.
“I think the schools most interested in me are probably Xavier, Cal-Berkeley, Georgia, Florida and Providence,” he said.
He broke down each school:
Xavier: “They kind of have a similar as system as Roselle Catholic’s. They like to get up and down and play fast. And they win, they win games. So they sold me on that. I really like the place. I was actually on campus a few weeks ago on an unofficial.”
Cal: “They’re really doing a good job on selling me to their program. They’re a really good academic school. Good weather over though so that’s a plus. And they’re big on player development, which I love.”
Florida and Georgia: “Both of them pretty much have the same message. A lot of these head coaches are really big on player development, so whatever can get me to the highest level will fit for me.”
Providence: “Providence has been there since the beginning. They offered me two years ago and have followed me ever since. They are losing some big scorers so they are looking for me to come in and fill that role immediately.”
UConn: “UConn just offered [Wednesday] so I’m definitely excited to learn more about the program.” As for UConn going to the Big East, “That’s exciting,” he said.
Lane also recently took an unofficial to Seton Hall.
“Yeah, Seton Hall offered on an unofficial visit a few weeks ago,” he said. “I loved [ the visit]. They got really good facilities. The strength program was really good. I would come in there and have an immediate impact on the team which is what I’m looking for in a program.”
Wherever he goes, he plans to be a “high-energy guy on both ends of the floor.”
“I take a lot of pride in my defense, I consider myself a lock-down defender,” he said. “I can also score the ball. I’m a good shooter. I still have room to improve on my jump shot, but I feel like my jump shot’s pretty good. And I think I can lead a team. I think I have pretty good leadership skills.”
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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.