Monday, June 29, 2009

Jack of all Trades

Note: This article was originally posted at NBE Basketball Report.

By his own count, Kadeem Jack had zero colleges looking at him heading into his sophomore year. Now, in the summer before his senior season, Jack has major programs from across the country showing interest.

Jack is a 6-8 forward from Rice High School (N.Y.) who plays with the New York Gauchos for AAU ball. He is also one of the fastest rising players from the New York City area in the class of 2010.

He currently holds offers from St. John’s, Seton Hall, George Mason and Drexel, and is getting interest from Rutgers, Miami (Fl.), Arkansas (where former Gauchos assistant coach Chad Babel is now a graduate assistant), Siena, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

“I was supposed to visit Pittsburgh this weekend, but coach [Jamie Dixon] wasn’t going to be there,” Jack said. Dixon is currently coaching the Under-19 national team in Auckland, New Zealand, where they are preparing for the World Championships that begin next week. “One of the assistant coaches is supposed to call me so we can reschedule.”

Other schools he plans on visiting in the coming weeks include Seton Hall, Syracuse, St. John’s and Drexel.

On the topic of St. John’s, said Jack: “They’re right in my backyard.” Jack will be playing at the top-30 camp at St. John’s on Wednesday.

As for Drexel, former Rice teammate Chris Fouch is a rising sophomore with the Dragons. “He told me to come through and check it out,” Jack said.

He also said that Syracuse has been showing a little bit of interest lately and he wants to visit the school “no matter what.”

One school that could throw a curveball into Jack’s recruitment is Connecticut.

“UConn just started showing interest last month,” he said. “I have to say I was really happy to hear that. I want to go visit there.”

However, when naming his top three at the moment – an all-Big East trio of Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and St. John’s – he conspicuously left out the Huskies.

“I would like to say UConn, but they’re not showing enough interest yet,” Jack said. “I think it would be a dream to go there. Kemba [Walker] went there and had a great freshman year, and I think I could do the same thing.”

Another potential wrench in the equation is Jack’s age. He is currently just 16 heading into what would be his final year of high school. As a result, he is considering reclassifying to the class of 2011. Jack said he would base his decision on how he plays this upcoming season.

“I’m confused as to what I want to do,” he said. “But if I do well, I’ll just go to college.”

Jack, who is very athletic and can run the floor well for a big man, wants to play in an up-tempo, fast-break system, similar to Syracuse.

“My game is the full-court, run up-and-down type,” he said. “I don’t think I would do that good in a half-court system.”

Although most of his potential schools are in the area, Jack said he is not opposed to moving far away from home for college.

“It doesn’t really matter to me,” he said. “I don’t care if it’s in Texas.

“I just want to make sure it’s the right school for me.”

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