SportsProf

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Monday, January 03, 2005

Why This Kid (Despite His Pedigree) Won't Be Going Ivy

A long while back, I had a funny conversation with a friend who was a very good player at an Ivy school. The kid went to the Ivy school from a heralded HS program and was a sophomore at the time of the conversation. One of his HS teammates was, at the time, a HS senior and a top 10 recruit nationally.

After we dispensed with the pleasantries, the conversation went something like this (I have modified it in certain ways so as not to get so specific):

Me: So where's so-and-go going to go to college?

Friend: Hard to tell at this probably somewhere in the ACC. Duke or Carolina. (Pause) You know, his grades and scores are better than mine.

Me: So why doesn't he play in the Ivies?

Friend: If you could really play, why would you go to the Ivies?

The kid went to the ACC school (and played in the NBA, too).

And, no, I'm not talking about the Charlotte Bobcats' Emeka Okafor, who scored over 1310 on his boards and was recruited by the Ivies, only to eschew them because the hoops weren't good enough. He ended up, as you well know, at UConn, on somewhat of a flier, as Jim Calhoun wanted someone else (the name escapes me as to who) and wasn't sure this skinny kid from Houston could play. And, to quote Paul Harvey, you know the rest of the story.

Well, this kid is a very good basketball player (and acquitted himself very well against the top teams in the Philadelphia area over the past couple of weeks -- perennial power Chester and current force Episcopal Academy with Top 25 recruit Wayne Ellington and Notre Dame signee Ryan Ayers). His father played football and baseball at Princeton, and his mother rowed crew at Wellesley. His sister is a freshman center on the Yale women's basketball team.

And that's probably as close as he'll get to an Ivy hoops game.

And, of course, Coach K is interested too.

Princeton fans would salivate having this kid as the core of the vaunted Princeton offense, while Penn fans would love it if they could lure him to the great confines of the Palestra and have him thump archrival Princeton for four straight years.

It's not going to happen.

But imagine if it did.

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