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.
Class of 2023 big man Papa Kante visits Rutgers; Maryland, Michigan up next
By ADAM ZAGORIAPapa Kante, the 6-foot-10 four-star Class of 2023 big man from South Kent (CT) and the NY Rens, took an official visit to Rutgers over the weekend and has several other visits planned.
“The visit went pretty good,” he said. “I like the school. The staff, they’re all really good people.
“Their message is “We want to coach you, and want to help you to be the best person you can be on and off the court at the next level and help you to reach your goals.'”
Kante will next visit two other Big Ten schools: Michigan (June 14-16) and Maryland (June 20-22). He also plans to visit Pitt this summer and possibly Missouri.
Michigan coach Juwan Howardwas among those watching Kante last month at the Nike EYBL stop outside Orlando.
Illinois, Miami, Seton Hall, UConn, Georgetown, Kansas, and a barrage of others are in heavy pursuit.
“He’s a real student of the game and a sponge,” South Kent coach Raphael Chillious told ZAGSBLOG last month. “He’s only been playing for three and a half years, but has picked the game up quickly because he’s a film junkie and an absolute gym rat.”
While he’s still developing a refined back-to-the-bucket game, Kante’s game is translatable to the highest level of play because of his advanced footwork. Kante’s versatility and physicality enable him to be a veritable defensive backbone.
“Defensively his motor is so high and he moves his feet so well, he can switch 1-5 defensively,” Chillious said.
Rutgers also hosted Class of 2023 Expressions Elite wing Gavin Griffiths and is hosting St. Bonaventure transfer Kyle Lofton, a New Jersey native who played with The Firm AAU squad alongside current Rutgers big man Cliff Omoruyi.
Asked their message, Lofton said, “Starting” and “being the guy.”
(This post was updated June 2.)Follow Zach Smart on TwitterFollow Adam Zagoria on TwitterFollow ZAGSBLOGHoops on InstagramAnd Like ZAGS on Facebook
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.