Jelan “Mr. Do It All” Kendrick finally takes basketball official visit to Memphis Tigers

Did Georgia Tech and UGA make a big mistake by overlooking Statesboro native Eric Ferguson (signed with Georgia Southern), the 6-8 forward who developed into one of USA's best in prep school?

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Wheeler High All-America basketball player Jelan Kendrick is racking up frequent-flyer miles as rapidly as he score points.

On Friday, the 6-foot-5 Kendrick will finally take his official visit to Memphis with his parents. Kendrick signed last November with Memphis, which has the No. 1-ranked 2010 basketball recruiting class in the nation, according to several recruiting services. Kendrick will take his newly-earned nickname on his trip — “Mr. Do It All.”

“When I signed with Memphis, it was kind of out of the blue,” Kendrick told the AJC. “My mom and dad didn’t even really know what I was going to do. When I signed, I decided I was going to wait until after the high school season [for my official visit]. We’re going to drive there on Friday.”

If you recall, the never-a-boring-moment Kendrick made his commitment in dramatic fashion. He was on an unofficial visit to Memphis last November when he held an impromptu press conference at the Peabody Hotel to announce his college plans.

It was a shocker, as Kendrick hadn’t even really mentioned any favorites before committing to Memphis. He had also stated previously that he was planning to wait until after his senior season at Wheeler to choose among dozens of schools, including Georgia Tech, UGA and Indiana.

Yet everything changed for Kendrick as he spent more and more time in Memphis. Last summer, he was a practically a part-time resident of the Tennessee city while playing for the Memphis Magic Elite AAU team.

Kendrick has had a travel schedule that would rival the President’s over the last few weeks. He played in the McDonald’s All-America game on March 31 in Columbus, Ohio, participated in the Jordan Brand Classic at New York’s Madison Square Garden two weeks ago, and returned to New York for an all-star league tournament last weekend.

Kendrick was joined on the iS8 team, the Sean Bell Allstars, by two other Georgians — Walton point guard Ryan Harrow (N.C. State) and Statesboro 6-8 forward Eric Ferguson (now at Winchendon Prep, signed with Georgia Southern). The team went undefeated in four games, winning each by 30 or more. Kendrick earned the nickname “Mr. Do It All,” while Harrow got the moniker “The Magician” for his fancy passing and dribbling.

“I love the nickname … I got it because they said I could score, pass, rebound and block shots,” Kendrick said. “Who wouldn’t like a nickname like that? That type of versatility has been the story of my career. No one has ever really been able to define me at just one position.

“It was great to play basketball in the city of New York, where basketball is so beloved, and be given out nicknames, which is so rare for out-of-state kids.”

Are you still surprised that “Mr. Do It All” signed with Memphis? Do you wish he would’ve given more consideration to Georgia Tech and UGA? Post your thoughts below.

22 comments Add your comment

Guru

April 28th, 2010
8:19 am

OVERRATED, clap, clap, clap.

Definitely didn’t look like a Burger Boy for Wheeler this year. He looked out of place and manufactured turnovers at an alarming rate. Not to mention in the 5 games I saw he couldn’t hit anything on the perimeter. I’ve watched a lot of star players go thru this state and he was a disappointment while also looking nonchalant and a crybaby on the court.

Brian

April 28th, 2010
9:04 am

Haven’t seen any of them play, why was the statesboro kid so under the radar? Could his grades have given teams pause, only for him to right them in the prep school? Good luck to them all at any rate.

Guru

April 28th, 2010
9:17 am

Ferguson was at Prep School (5th year of high school) for a reason. GT isn’t going to go after anyone who can’t qualify out of high school. UGA and Fox got the guys they wanted. He is better fitted for Charlton Young at Southern, he will do well there. Dominating in prep school doesn’t mean you are that good.

steve

April 28th, 2010
10:29 am

he is a beast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! nba 1st pick next year

Milton Backer

April 28th, 2010
11:21 am

I assume “Mr. Take a 2 when my team needs a 3″ was taken

Techsucks

April 28th, 2010
11:28 am

Doesn’t matter. We run this state.

(((((30-24)))))
(()))))((((73-66))))))

cobbcountyhoops

April 28th, 2010
11:49 am

I watched the kid play a few times. He’s attitude is awful and he plays very lazy the stuff he did in high school won’t be tolerated at the college level. Most overhyped kid i’ve seen come across in a while and very much a crybaby.

cobbcountyhoops

April 28th, 2010
11:50 am

Sorry i meant his attitude not he’s.

harold

April 28th, 2010
11:53 am

WHY WOULD ANY GOOD PLAYER WANT TO PLAY FOR A SCHOOL LIKE GEORGIA THAT IS TOTALLY UNCOMMITTED TO BASKETBALL. YOU HAVE A TENNESSEE & A BRUCE PEARL AND A KENTUCKY THAT IS COMMITTED TO BASKETBALL. GEORGIA WAS LAST IN THE SEC LOL!

Michael Carvell

April 28th, 2010
12:15 pm

Ferguson? He attends Winchendon School, one of the most highly-regarded prep schools in the nation for academics. I would assume he could’ve gotten into just about any school, including Georgia Tech and UGA. However,who knew Eric was going to blossom like he has? Lots of schools missed out.

Michael Carvell

April 28th, 2010
12:19 pm

Regarding Jelan Kendrick, I’m sure he has made his share of mistakes, like any other kid. I must say he seems like a wonderful person every time I’ve had the chance to talk with him. Unfortunately, when you’re one of the top 10-15 prospects in the nation, you’re a huge target for both public criticism and praise. I wish Jelan the best in the next stage of his life (college), and we at the AJC look forward to following it.

Your manager

April 28th, 2010
1:29 pm

“Techsucks”, don’t forget your baseball scores

6-5
25-6
6-4

GoToGuy

April 28th, 2010
1:47 pm

In case you didn’t know, Ferguson’s dad played at Georgia Southern with Coach Young and is his godson. So, short of an offer from Duke or UNC, he was probably going to Georgia Southern anyway.

KYBLUEGRASS

April 28th, 2010
1:47 pm

You run this state from a jail cell! That why you guys are so fast…Always running from the cops.

JC

April 28th, 2010
2:53 pm

@ Deegan….how is Josh Pastner an overrated coach?

Rick S

April 28th, 2010
3:09 pm

Give Mark Fox another year to establish himself and the UGA Basketball Program and many of these High School Basketball players leaving the state to play their College ball will be stating home and playing for the Program on the Rise- The University of Georgia!

GenuineDraft901

April 28th, 2010
3:14 pm

Hey Deegan, Cal isn’t our coach anymore! I assume that’s who you were referring to when you said JK is going to play for an overrated coach. And as for JK being overrated (which couldn’t be farther from the truth and yes I’ve seen him live) sounds like a bunch of sour grapes to me since he’s leaving the state to ball here in Memphis.

Michael Carvell

April 28th, 2010
5:33 pm

Deegan: We appreciate your participation, but please refrain from making personal attacks as you did in your second post. What any player does on the arena of competition is fair game. What you said above is not.

Milton Backer

April 28th, 2010
6:39 pm

So I also guess “Mr. Chase the Refs to Their Dressing Room After they Make a Call He Disagrees With” also didn’t make it

Najeh Davenpoop

April 29th, 2010
1:48 pm

With Fergusen joining Hewitt, a huge recruit pickup from Miami joining Powers in Statesboro, GSU could be the best team in the state next year. Carvell, what say you?

JNelson

May 1st, 2010
7:32 pm

There is a brand new iPhone app called Athletic Recruiter that helps HS student athletes learn about the college recruiting process. It has key questions the student athletes should ask the college coach, admissions, legal issues, and even interviewing tips, and if they want recruiting help there is even a link for that.

Coop

May 3rd, 2010
12:29 pm

Kendrick is the real deal. He just takes breaks sometimes which is not good but he has a lot of upside and in college he will learn to bring it every night. By the way he was on the ALL-Court Cred Team http://courtcred.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1800&catid=42&Itemid=44