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Tuesday / November 19.
  • Jonathan Kuminga attends Champions Classic, issues Top 10 list

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Jonathan Kuminga was in attendance at the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, watching two of his biggest suitors win games on the biggest stage.

    The 6-foot-8 Kuminga saw No. 2 Kentucky beat No. 1 Michigan State and No. 4 Duke beat No. 3 Kansas.

    Kentucky coach John Calipari has been in several times this fall at the Patrick School in Hillside (N.J.) for Kuminga, ranked No. 1 overall in the Class of 2021 by 247Sports.com. Duke is also involved for the Congo native.

    Calipari has pulled Nick Richards, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Dakari Johnson from St. Patrick/The Patrick School, while also landing other top New Jersey talent, including Kahlil Whitney, Isaiah Briscoe and Dajuan Wagner.

    Duke, meantime, has landed New Jersey products like Kyrie Irving, Jay Williams and Lance Thomas and also just picked up a pledge from Class of 2021 star A.J. Griffin of Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.).

    Also this week, Kuminga Tweeted out a Top 10 list that included Kentucky, Duke, Washington, Florida State, Memphis, Texas Tech, Michigan, Georgia, Maryland, and Auburn. Many of those schools have also visited him this fall.

    “Everybody’s still recruiting me,” Kuminga told me recently after putting up 19 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists as the Patrick School beat rival Roselle Catholic, 68-57, in a Fall League game. “I’m just going to wait until I make the right decision, I don’t know when.”

    Kuminga, who turned 17 on Oct. 6, is currently in the Class of 2021 although he has the option of reclassifying to 2020. He dominates high school opponents so much now, it’s hard to imagine he would even be challenged by another year of high school next year.

    Still, he hasn’t put into motion any plans to reclass as of yet.

    “He hasn’t given an inclination,” said Patrick school coach Chris Chavannes, whose team is favored to win the New Jersey Tournament of Champions title after adding Kuminga and 6-10 forward Adama Sanogo. “He’s got the pressure of whether to reclass up and all this other stuff and he just wants to be a kid every day. That’s all he wants. He’s just taking it one day at a time.”

    Kuminga is currently projected as the No. 6 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, per ESPN.com. He would be eligible for that draft because he turns 19 that year.

    It’s also possible he could enter the 2022 NBA Draft if he opted to wait until then.

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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.