John Calipari watches Jonathan Kuminga two days after Coach K does | 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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Thursday / April 22.
  • John Calipari watches Jonathan Kuminga two days after Coach K does

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Two days after Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski watched Jonathan Kuminga at the John Wall Holiday Invitational, Kentucky coach John Calipari saw the 6-foot-8 junior in New Jersey.

    Calipari watched for a quarter or so Kuminga as The Patrick School, ranked No. 3 nationally by USA Today and No. 1 by NJ.com, crushed Life Center 78-31 at the New Year’s Jump Off at Bergen Catholic.

    Kuminga is ranked No. 1 overall in the Class of 2021 by 247Sports.com and is a projected Top-10 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Kentucky and Duke have now both seen him several times this season, while Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl and assistant Ira Bowman saw him Dec. 23 at the Kyrie Irving Invitational in Brooklyn.

    “Everybody’s still recruiting me,” Kuminga told me this fall. “I’m just going to wait until I make the right decision, I don’t know when.”

    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.

    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.

    After playing in New Jersey, Kuminga and the Celtics will fly to Minnesota Thursday to play Bronny James, Zaire Wade, Kentucky commit B.J. Boston and Sierra Canyon (CA) on Friday. The game will be shown live on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. E.T.

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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.