Three-star guard Elijah Gertrude planning college visits, but immediate goal is winning Peach Jam | 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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Friday / December 2.
  • Three-star guard Elijah Gertrude planning college visits, but immediate goal is winning Peach Jam

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — For the time being, Hudson Catholic guard Elijah Gertrude is focused on one thing and one thing only: and that’s trying to win Peach Jam.

    The 6-foot-3 Gertrude and his Albany City Rocks team are 5-0 heading into a quarterfinal with Houston Hoops on Friday night.

    “That’s something that we’re working on every day,” he said here Thursday night. “City Rocks haven’t won a Peach Jam yet, so we’re going to be first.”

    Meantime, coaches from Syracuse, Virginia, Kansas, St. John’s, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Iona were among those watching him Thursday night when he had 13 points, 5 assists and 3 turnovers as the City Rocks defeated Team Takeover 69-65 to remain unbeaten.

    Virginia has been tracking him throughout the spring and he plans to take an official to the ACC school July 28-29.

    He said he’s also “working on” an official to Kansas after the national champions recently offered him.

    “They love the way I play defense,” he said. “That’s sort of been the thing for a lot of schools now, just multiple position defender who can get up and down.”

    Syracuse went three deep with Jim Boeheim, Red Autry and Gerry McNamara and Gertrude said he “absolutely” plans to visit.

    “The zone, they feel that I can play well in that zone that they run,” said Gertrude, whose team played zone on Thursday. “Coach Red talks about it a lot, just the fans in the building, the community. He talks about you get in that zone, you get a steal, you get a dunk, you’re a fan favorite at Syracuse. They got guys in the NBA sort of like me, long guys that play that zone, get out in transition and get a couple dunks.”

    St. John’s had Mike Anderson and Van Macon, Rutgers had Steve Pikiell and Seton Hall Shaheen Holloway on Thursday. He previously visited St. John’s and Seton Hall in June, and wants to get back.

    “That’s something that we’re working on as well, getting up to Rutgers and Seton Hall, those Jersey schools, and St. John’s,” he said. “That’s something that we’ve been working on for a while now.”

    Gertrude is known as a tremendous on-ball defender who has also greatly improved his outside shot in recent months.

    “Elijah has as much upside as any guard in the 2023 class,” said City Rocks coach Jimmy Hart. “For starters he was 16 years old the first two sessions of EYBL just turning 17 in late April. He’s incredibly grounded and humble and has a motor on both ends of the floor.

    “Elijah has explosive athleticism that translates in games, catching lobs, put backs, chase down blocks, rebounds above the rim and the ability to blow by the quickest defenders. Anyone that’s doubted his ability to shoot the ball from 3 has paid dearly as he is shooting over 40% from deep.

    “He’s a high-major guard whose best days are ahead. I’ve been around a long time and I have zero doubt that he is Top 50 in the Class of 2023.”

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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.