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.
USC is getting a ‘great athlete’ and ‘selfless teammate’ in 2023 forward Brandon Gardner
By ADAM ZAGORIA
In Class of 2023 forward Brandon Gardner, USC is getting the reigning Mr. New York Basketball and a “great athlete” and “selfless teammate,” his coaches say.
“He’s a great kid, very respectful and always has a positive attitude,” Christ the King assistant CJ Steed told ZAGSBLOG
‘’Great teammate, selfless, never heard him complain about anything. He’s a pleasure to be around. Superior athlete, great in transition and around the rim as he’s shown all year with his dunking ability. He has very long arms and is a good shot blocker. Will be a threat defensively.
He averaged 11 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks this season.
Said Royals head coach Joe Arbitello: “Great kid, great athlete, can shoot it and guard all 5 positions.”
After getting his release from St. John’s and new coach Rick Pitino, the 6-foot-8 Gardner committed to USC where he will join Bronny James, Isaiah Collier and DJ Rodman in the No. 3-rated recruiting class, per 247Sports.com.
They will open their season Nov. 6 against Kansas State in Las Vegas.
Gardner teamed last season with Kiyan Anthony, Carmelo’s son, and will now team up with the sons of LeBron James and Dennis Rodman.
Another former teammate, Brandon Williams, will suit up for UCLA next season. Both UCLA and USC will be in their final seasons before joining the Big Ten in 2024.
“They have the best culture, roster, and game plan to fit the game and the vision that I have for my future. I wanted a fresh start where I can work hard and level up but also learn from a culture of winning. I found that at USC. The coaching staff is great and I feel like I will get developed very well to become the NBA player I want to be,” Gardner told Stockrisers.com.
He added: ““My game fits well because I defend at a high-level, block shots, rebound, and run the floor very well. I make my shots as well. My bounce and versatility allow me to make up space and time with the best of them and keep multiple plays alive. I play above the rim and I play the right way.”
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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.