One of the nation’s top recruits will follow his AAU basketball coach to UCLA.
Jordan Adams, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 69 college basketball prospect by Rivals.com, committed to UCLA over UGA, Memphis and Miami on Monday.
Adams is a longtime member of the Atlanta Celtics and said McCray’s hiring influenced his college decision.
“It was a big factor,” Adams told the AJC. “I’ve been playing for Coach McCray since I was 12 or 13 years old. I used to always work out with him. He helped me get to where I am now as a basketball player. If it wasn’t for [McCray], I wouldn’t be this good and none of these college coaches would be recruiting me.”
The 6-foot-5 small forward transferred from Central Gwinnett High School to Oak Hill (Va.) prep school last year. Adams said McCray’s presence was a deciding factor, but also said he picked UCLA because “it’s a good school with a lot of tradition, and good academics. I knew it was the right school for me and my family. I just wanted to go ahead and get it off my chest by committing.”
Adams said UGA was runner-up. “UCLA recruited me a little bit harder. I like UCLA and their campus a lot more, and their tradition.”
UCLA is also in the running for another longtime member of the Atlanta Celtics — this one with much bigger stakes. Shaq Goodwin, who is ranked as Georgia’s No. 1 overall prospect for 2012, lists his leaders as UGA, Memphis, UCLA, Florida and Alabama. Goodwin is a 6-8, 235-pound power forward from Southwest DeKalb High School.
Note: Didn’t everyone see this coming a mile away? It was a brilliant hire by UCLA. Paul Hewitt claimed he almost hired Korey McCray when he was coaching at Georgia Tech. Korey is stuck with the “AAU coach” label but he actually has legitimate basketball credentials for a college assistant. He started at point guard for Mercer, coached at his alma mater and at a Florida junior college, and was a graduate assistant at Florida State. He trained Dwight Howard and John Wall leading up to being No. 1 overall picks of the NBA Draft. As CEO of the Atlanta Celtics, Korey established tremendous lines of communication with not only elite recruits and AAU coaches in Georgia but also across the nation. This year, 2012, is a gigantic year for recruiting in the state of Georgia, maybe the deepest year ever for prospects — 24 have high D1 offers, compared to only a dozen that signed high D1 this past year. If there ever was a time to hire a high school or AAU coach with inside position on a couple of elite prospects, the time is now. The only thing surprising about this whole thing is that the three local colleges that ALL changed head coaches within the last two years — Georgia Tech, UGA, and Georgia State — didn’t make a move like this first, considering the boatload of local talent. I know all three hired a college assistant who had recruited the state of Georgia before; but that doesn’t compare to high school or AAU coach that is more embedded in the local scene and has better connections and recognition among the kids. I’m still surprised that a college has not tried to hire away Miller Grove High School coach Sharman White, who has tremendous coaching credentials (three straight state championships) and two blue-chip prospects in Tony Parker and Brandon Morris.
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? firstname.lastname@example.org
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