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.
Coach K expected to watch Jonathan Kuminga when Patrick School meets Montverde Academy at John Wall Invitational
By ADAM ZAGORIA
There was some talk of Duke target Jonathan Kuminga and his Patrick School teammates practicing at Duke this week while in North Carolina for the John Wall Invitational.
That won’t happen, but Duke isn’t missing out on the 6-foot-8 Kuminga while he’s local.
Assistant coaches Nate James and Chris Carrawell were courtside Saturday night when Kuminga went for 28 points and 12 rebounds as the Celtics, ranked No. 3 by USA Today, fended off Farmville Central (N.C.), 83-76, to advance to Monday’s championship game against No. 1 Montverde Academy (FL).
Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and assistant Jon Scheyer are expected when the Celtics face No. 1-ranked Montverde (FL) Academy in the championship game. The game is set for 7 p.m. Here’s the link to the LiveStream.
Duke has prioritized Kuminga and he has them among his final 10 schools, along with Kentucky, Auburn and others.
Former Duke star Kyrie Irvingis heavily involved with The Patrick School and recently helped run a two-hour practice at his alma mater.
“He’s been helping on everything,” Kuminga said recently. “He really comes here and motivates us, tell us we gotta do this, what’s right for us. That’s pretty much what he’s been saying, and helping us on everything.”
Kuminga and the Celtics will now face Montverde, which is coached by former St. Patrick head coach Kevin Boyle, whowon five New Jersey Tournament of Champions titles with the Celtics before leaving the school for Montverde in 2011. Since then, he has avoided playing his former school when his team returns to New Jersey each year for the Metro Classic. Now he will have no choice.
“When you look at Montverde, they’re a machine,” Celtics coach and former Boyle assistant Chris Chavannes told reporters in North Carolina. They’re without question the best team in the country….But for us right now, I’ve been trying to spend more time focusing on us.
“I think that’s more important right now than worrying about Kevin Boyle’s team. I coached with Kevin for many years, he brought me to the Patrick School, St Patrick’s back then. I know him pretty well. But my focus and my energy right now is on our guys and our team.”
The game will feature a slew of high-major players, including Montverde stars Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State), Scottie Barnes (Florida State) and Class of 2022 standout Dariq Whitehead, as well as the uncommitted Kuminga, the No. 1-ranked player in 2021, per ESPN.com.
Kuminga has the option of reclassifying to 2020 and is currently projected as the No. 6 pick in the 2021 draft by ESPN.com, five spots behind projected No. 1 Cunningham.
In recent years, prep stars Marvin Bagley III (2017) and R.J. Barrett (2018) both reclassified up a year, went to Duke and became top-3 picks in the NBA Draft.
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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.