Jonathan Kuminga, No. 1 Player in 2021, Is Enrolled at The Patrick School | Zagsblog
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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.
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Monday / November 18.
  • Jonathan Kuminga, No. 1 Player in 2021, Is Enrolled at The Patrick School

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Jonathan Kuminga, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2021 and arguably the top high school basketball player in the nation regardless of class, has been enrolled since March at The Patrick School in Hillside, N.J., and will play for the Celtics during the 2019-20 high school season.

    The 6-foot-9, 218-pound wing from the Congo was previously at Our Savior New American in Centerreach, N.Y. He and teammate Adama Sanogo, a 6- 9 Class of 2021 forward, are both now at The Patrick School, making the Celtics the favorites to win the prestigious New Jersey Tournament of Champions title next March. The Celtics also added former IMG Academy point guard Noah Farrakhan.

    Kuminga and the new-look Celtics will be featured at several high-profile tournaments, including the prestigious Hoophall Classic over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.

    “Over the next couple of years, Jonathan has an opportunity to become one of the greatest players to don a Celtic uniform, as well as one of the best players to ever play in New Jersey,” Patrick School coach Chris Chavannes told ZAGSBLOG. “

    The school has won six TOC titles, most recently in 2017, and has produced a slew of NBA and Division 1 talent, including Kyrie Irving, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Al Harrington.

    Playing with the NY Rens on the Nike EYBL circuit, Kuminga averaged 27.4 points and 6.0 rebounds at the Peach Jam in July.

    “He’s the best player in the country regardless of class,” Rens coach Andy Borman said at Peach Jam. “He’s 16 years old. So let’s give him a little time just because he plays a very mature game and his athleticism is very mature. He’s got a bright future ahead of him and the best thing about him is that he works his tail off, man. When we’re not practicing during the week, he’s up at 5 a.m. to do conditioning and overall sports performance to work on his body.” He’s put on 15 pounds of lean muscle in recent months.

    “[Kuminga] is the best player in the country,” one high-major Division 1 assistant told me at Peach Jam. “I don’t think there’s any debate.”

    Duke offered Kuminga several days after Peach Jam, where head coach Mike Krzyzewski and assistants Nate James and Jon Scheyer scouted him.

    “I love everybody,” he said, speaking generally of his recruitment. “I consider everybody.”

    Kuminga holds a Kentucky offer and Calipari and Kenny Payne were frequent fixtures at his games this summer.

    “I love Kentucky because that’s a good school,” Kuminga said. “It might be a good fit for me. That’s a good school, that’s why I love it. The coach is a good coach.”

    Meantime, his brother, Joel Ntambwe, is now at Texas Tech and they are recruiting him, too.

    “Yeah,” Kuminga said, “everybody is.”

    Asked how it felt to have so much interest from elite colleges, Kuminga said, “That’s going to be my motivation to just keep working out, have my name everywhere.”

    Photo: @D1 Circuit

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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.