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.
Jonathan Kuminga scores 20 in Patrick School debut after judge grants stay
By ADAM ZAGORIAJonathan Kuminga, the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2021 and a projected Top 10-pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, was deemed immediately eligible to play at The Patrick School after receiving a stay of proceedings from a judge late Monday afternoon.
The 6-foot-8 Kuminga then went out and scored 20 points in his debut as The Patrick School, ranked No. 3 by USA today, beat No. 23 Roselle Catholic, 72-64, in the Kyrie Irving Invitational at Barclays Center.
The Celtics have now beaten Roselle Catholic twice this season including a Fall League game in October, although the win snapped a six-game losing streak in official high school competition.
“It feels really amazing being a leader on this team,” Kuminga told Richard Greco of NJ.com. “I’m not the only reason (that we won), but in this moment I needed to be a leader. I wanted to bring the win home. That’s what I had to do.”
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl and Saint Peter’s coach Shaheen Holloway and assistants from UConn, Seton Hall, Rutgers and St. John’s were among those on hand for Kuminga and RC big man Cliff Omoruyi (12 points, 10 rebounds), among others. Xavier-bound guard C.J. Wilcher had 20 in the loss for the Lions.
“(Kuminga) facilities it sometimes too much, but I thought he did a great job facilitating tonight,” Patrick School coach Chris Chavannes told NJ.com. “We needed to calm him down. He needed to set the tone. He did a fabulous job with that and let (the game) come to him.”
Kuminga got the clearance to play about an hour before the game.
“As per our legal representation we have been made aware that Jonathan Kuminga has been granted a stay of proceedings and has been deemed immediately eligible to play basketball for The Patrick School,” Chavannes told ZAGSBLOG.
“Obviously, we are concerned about this situation and are cooperating fully with the NJSIAA. Given that this is an ongoing litigation and due to privacy issues regarding student-athletes, we are limited in what information we can share right now, but we intend to provide additional information as soon as we can.”
As first reported Friday morning on ZAGSBLOG, the NJSIAA ruled Kuminga, Adama Sanogo and Bretner Mutombo were ineligible for 30 days due to transfer rules.
Sanogo and Mutombo remain out for the Celtics.
The 6-foot-8 Kuminga and the 6-10 Sanogo transferred to the Hillside, N.J. school from Our Savior New American on Long Island, while the 6-11 Mutombo transferred from Lincoln Academy (GA).
A native of the Congo, Kuminga is the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2021, and is a projected Top 10-pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, per ESPN.com.
He is being recruited by Duke, Kentucky, Auburn and Texas Tech, among others.
“Kuminga is just on another level than everyone right now,” one college coach in attendance said.
Sanogo, originally from Mali, is ranked the No. 10 center in the Class of 2021 per 247Sports.com and holds offers from Seton Hall, UConn, Xavier, Oregon, TCU and Marquette, among others.
Mutombo, from the Congo, is ranked the No. 17 center in the Class of 2021 and holds offers from TCU, Penn State and Georgia, among others.
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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.