Top recruit Meleek Thomas says Dan Hurley's decision 'definitely makes UConn more attractive now' | 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 / July 12.
  • Top recruit Meleek Thomas says Dan Hurley’s decision ‘definitely makes UConn more attractive now’

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Dan Hurley’s decision to spurn the Lakers in favor of UConn appears to be paying immediate dividends on the recruiting trail.

    Meleek Thomas, a Top 10 prospect in the Class of 2025 who is signing with Overtime Elite for the upcoming season, said Hurley’s decision “definitely makes UConn more attractive now.”

    Thomas told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony he did not expect Hurley to be pursued by the Los Angeles Lakers, who offered him a six-year, $70-million contract before Hurley turned it down to seek a three-peat at UConn.

    “I didn’t expect that; it just popped up,” Thomas told ESPN. “He ended up turning it down, which must mean something. That definitely makes UConn more attractive now. With all the money he was offered, he’s still committed to the school he built up. Being highly recruited by him means they are serious. That’s the message I got.”

    With UConn involved for elite players like Thomas and AJ Dybantsa, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2025, Hurley can now effectively tell players of that caliber, “I turned down coaching LeBron James so that I can stay here and coach you.”

    “Danny was at an incredible career fork in the road this weekend,” ESPN’s Fran Fraschila told NJ Advance Media. “Both take him to Shangri-La. The fact that he can use two national titles and interest from the NBA is a boon to UConn’s recruiting.”

    The 6-foot-4 Thomas is slated to visit UConn June 19 and also holds offers from the likes of Kansas and Arkansas among others. He announced his transfer to Overtime Elite from Lincoln Park Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh. Thomas is averaging 20.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.4 assists in 27 minutes per game for New Heights Lightning in the Nike EYBL

    “I did everything I needed to do where I’m from,” Thomas told ESPN. “We won back-to-back state championships. Now it’s time to be seen by NBA personnel, GMs, scouts, the people that you need to be in front of. At OTE they get your name out. Everything they do goes around the world. I want to be broadcasted more.”

    “Meleek is a high energy young man who fits the culture of what we are continuing to build at OTE” said Aki Collins, Director of Scouting, Recruiting and Retention, OTE. “He’s a dynamic playmaker and highly regarded as one of the top players in the country. A culmination of a 3 year recruiting process that started when I was at Penn State, we are excited to have Meleek and look forward to continuing to develop him on and off the court.” 

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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.

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