Jordan Adams will follow Atlanta AAU basketball coach to UCLA; runner-up was UGA (UPDATED)

Atlanta basketball star Jordan Adams will follow his AAU coach to UCLA (Photo by Adidas)

Atlanta basketball star Jordan Adams will follow his AAU coach to UCLA (Photo by Adidas)

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.

Earlier this month, UCLA hired Korey McCray, CEO of the Atlanta Celtics AAU basketball team, as an assistant coach. (click on story link)

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.

New UCLA assistant Korey McCay has landed one of his former star players from the Atlanta Celtics AAU team (Photo by UCLA)

New UCLA assistant Korey McCay has landed one of his former star players from the Atlanta Celtics AAU team (Photo by UCLA)

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.

RELATED STORIES ON UCLA ASSISTANT KOREY MCCRAY

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82 comments Add your comment

[...] Vanderbilt strikes again! Two commits in two days from Georgia [...]

Dawg 1

June 20th, 2011
9:21 pm

Congrats to the kid.

TampaDAWG

June 20th, 2011
9:22 pm

Congrats to the kid. Hope Shaq doesn’t follow,

Hewitt Fan

June 20th, 2011
9:22 pm

congrats to Jordan, this is Edward’s uncle, can’t release my name to these GT clowns lol, man UCLA is going to be once again a dynasty!..If Shaq does not go to football, he is the next to be headed out west !!

Hewitt Fan

June 20th, 2011
9:34 pm

@UGA fans, don’t worry Coach Fox will get his fair share, One thing about UGA, is that they support their student athletes no matter what, coaches also!..it was very classy how UGA handled the Felton situation.. GT is about to the laughing stock of the ACC very soon..

Outside Observer

June 20th, 2011
9:45 pm

Don’t worry Hewitt fan, Tech was already the laughing stock of the ACC. A Division One school that couldn’t even script one successful inbounds play against the press. Simply pathetic. Is it ironic that we ran a press defense?

auburn fan

June 20th, 2011
9:48 pm

Not sure the coaching hires for kids to follow are legit, but guess no rules are broken here. Good for the kid, probably be there two years at most, so I am sure he will soak up academics and that awesome campus for all of those 24 months. Why can’t we be honest in this country anymore, just admit you are ready to try the nba………geeez!

Michael Carvell

June 20th, 2011
9:49 pm

@Auburn Fan, thanks for your comment. Hiring coaches for inside position on recruits is an old recruiting tactic. It’s only newer hiring the AAU coaches; in old days it was high school coach. As far as the NBA, yes you are correct. Then again, there’s not one kid that signs with ANY D1 school that does not have NBA aspirations, realistic or unrealistic.

RRTDawgs

June 20th, 2011
9:50 pm

Fox seems to be having a lot of bad luck with big time recruits ever since Caldwell Pope Mark Fox has not got any momentum at all .

UGA Insider

June 20th, 2011
9:51 pm

I am a Mark Fox fan as a coach but he has not proven he can recruit. He got Marcus Thornton because of the ACC transfer rule and Thornton wanted to play close to home. He got Kentavious because he was from a one stoplight town and his two best friends signed with Georgia on football schollies. Mark Fox absolutely positively cannot recruit the state of Georgia. He whiffed on Brogdon (UVA), Royal (Techie), D. Parker (lolol Vanderbilt), Harrow (Kentucky), Ware (Louisville) to sign a bunch of “1 star” superheroes from Florida, North Carolina and Europe that no one has ever head of. How can you recruit other states when there’s so much talent in Georgia? Because Fox cannot recruit Georgia. The dagger in the heart was Evan Nolte, whose older brother plays at Georgia now and was a onetime lock, told Fox to take a hike and signed with UVA.

Hewitt Fan

June 20th, 2011
9:56 pm

@Outside Observer How was Gt the laughing stock, just the year before Gt made it to the ACC championship game, got no calls and lost to Duke, then they beat a very good oklahoma St team before they once again got robbed by the refs against Ohio St in NCAA’s…And the year that Tech had problems with the press was the year that Gt started 3 fresh 1 soph and junior.

Paul in RDU

June 20th, 2011
9:57 pm

It was very classy how UGA handled the Felton situation?

Didn’t UGA fire Dennis Felton in the middle of the season less than 12 months after he won the SEC Tourney?

Paul in RDU

June 20th, 2011
10:04 pm

The game where GT had all the in-bounds problems was at home against NCSU in 2010. The players who got the most minutes in that game were Favors (FR), Lawal (JR), Shumpert (SO), Bell (SR), Peacock (SR), Oliver (FR), Rice (FR). Moe Miller (SR) played 2 minutes.

Michael Carvell

June 20th, 2011
10:12 pm

Please no personal attacks on kids.

Taco

June 20th, 2011
10:14 pm

Hewitt Fan? Seriously? Find your hole and crawl back in. No one needs your drivel on here. Take your crap back to AAU ball where you seem to worship. Hewitt sucked and you cannot deny that. I have been a fan of this team for 30 years and paid my hard earned cash to walk fly and ride to see them. I ain’t saying Brian Gregory is the answer but no one needs you sitting here taking shots at the program. I am sure you have a great high school diploma from some fine inner city school and some 22 inch rims but that makes you no expert on colleg ball. I think we have all the bad things covered so move to the UGA site.

Paul in RDU

June 20th, 2011
10:14 pm

Michael – I like how you are trying to police the blogs. There should be no attacks on attacks on these high school kids.

Taco

June 20th, 2011
10:16 pm

BTW, good luck Jordan Adams, UCLA is a great school with a great tradition and you should be proud to go there. This state is proud of you as well!

Outside Observer

June 20th, 2011
10:18 pm

As far as your points about the refs, well, some things you have to deal with. Dallas will never get their championship back from Miami in 2006(?). Tech will never get its unanimous national championship because of a few refs who struggle to count to four. You can bicker and argue all you want, but it will never change the results of the game. Now to the inbounds play. Bell, the senior, was actually the player responsible for a majority of the turnovers. If I remember correctly, a reporter asked Hewitt why he didn’t have someone else make the pass. He responded along the lines of “Do you think a freshman would have done any better?” Couldn’t have done worse. But then again, maybe I’m a fool for thinking that a simple inbounds play should be taught the first week of practice. The basics were never really emphasized by Coach Hewitt. Very nice guy, but a sub-par basketball coach.

RomeDawg

June 20th, 2011
10:21 pm

Glad for the kid but hate it for all Dawg fans….can’t really blame him.

Hewitt Fan

June 20th, 2011
10:22 pm

Paul in RDU
June 20th, 2011
10:04 pm

The game where GT had all the in-bounds problems was at home against NCSU in 2010. The players who got the most minutes in that game were Favors (FR), Lawal (JR), Shumpert (SO), Bell (SR), Peacock (SR), Oliver (FR), Rice (FR). Moe Miller (SR) played 2 minutes.

GT won that game right?.. i thought that Favors(CELTIC),Gani(CELTIC) Shump,Rice, and Oliver(George Mason) was the starting 5, that means 3 fr,1 soph, 1 junior,And UGA fans were STILL attending games the year Felton was fired..even Wake forest who had the worst team in the ACC last year had the stands filled up all year!.. Are you the same PAULRDU that was on the ohio St Gt blog complaining about the refs?..Only to later blame Hewitt later on?

[...] Jordan Adams will follow Atlanta AAU basketball coach to UCLA … This entry was posted in Basketball, Uncategorized and tagged aau, adams, basketball, [...]

Outside Observer

June 20th, 2011
10:26 pm

“The game where GT had all the in-bounds problems” is the understatement of the century. Tech has had problems inbounding the ball the last few years. The NC State game was the greatest show of futility I might have ever seen in a game. Yes we won the game, but we tried really hard to let NC State win. There are no excuses for being up 16 with four minutes to go and committing 9 or so turnovers to let them come back and even take the lead.

GTBob

June 20th, 2011
10:27 pm

Looks like the oddball UCLA hire will at least somewhat payoff.

Paul in RDU

June 20th, 2011
10:29 pm

Hewitt Fan – you may have thought that Favors(CELTIC),Gani(CELTIC) Shump,Rice, and Oliver(George Mason) was the starting 5 but you would be wrong. If you look in the 2010-11 GTBB Media Guide (which I am sure a big fan like you has) and go to page 10, you will see that DeAndre Bell started every game of his senior year – meaning he started the GT-NCSU game.
If you can’t get simple facts correct about GT, what credibility should anyone give any of your opinions? Opinions like saying that firing a coach in the middle of the season less than 1 year after winning the conference tourney is showing class.

Paul in RDU

June 20th, 2011
10:33 pm

Outside Observer – you forgot one other point in the GT-NCSU game. Julius Mays missed a 3 pt shot at the buzzer to win the game – and Mays and Lowe both claimed (as did every WolfPack fan I know) that Mays was fouled on the shot. Those nefarious ACC refs were out to get Hewitt again.

Outside Observer

June 20th, 2011
10:37 pm

Paul, I apologize. You are correct. The last few minutes of that game all kind of run together on me. Turnover, turnover, foul, turnover, pulling out hair, turnover, screaming in anger, turnover, frustration, turnover, foul, pissed off, turnover… I think I forgot a turnover in there somewhere.

Gwinnett coach

June 20th, 2011
10:43 pm

I loved the story in the AJC about how Coach Gregory hired the Georgia Tech assistant who “watched every single one of Marcus Thornton’s AAU games” when he was at Clemson. What a joke. That AAU team had 14 recruits who signed. What coach wasn’t watching that AAU team every time they could?

GTBob

June 20th, 2011
10:45 pm

A part of me thinks Paul Hewitt sealed his fate that day. We went a few minutes without even getting the ball across half court. It was one of the most embarrassing moments for GT in some time. Most GT fans I know had trouble even being happy after that win. And for the record, the starting 5 was Favors, Lawal, Udofia, Bell, and Shumpert.

ormewood

June 20th, 2011
10:46 pm

Hewitt had exactly one winning season in an otherwise down ACC in 11 years as a coach. That’s going to earn you a pink slip every time. Dino Gaudio, Herb Sendek, Al Skinner, and Oliver Purnell all did much better and they are not exactly the Mount Rushmore of college hoops coaches.

Sir Barks A Lot

June 20th, 2011
10:46 pm

Good strategy by UCLA.

UGA has a big uphill battle to sell basketball in Athens. Although I am a huge UGA fan – UGA has always been a b-ball bottom feeder in a conference that gets little respect for basketball. Let’s not kid ourselves – against the ACC and teams like UCLA, Kentucky, Louisville and others – this is a hard sell.

Keep plugging Coach Fox!

RRTDawgs

June 20th, 2011
10:51 pm

Fox needs to make some changes the recruiting resources he has right now is not working brilliant move by UCLA to hire AAU coach maybe Fox should do same because what he doing now is not working just getting JUCO players .

workinDawg

June 20th, 2011
10:55 pm

Oh, well. Could see this one from a mile away. At least the UCLA hire seems legit. In addition to the obvious recruiting advantages, I hear this guy is a really good coach. Sure wish uga could get out of the runner-up position. Perhaps I will send CMF a copy of GlenGary GlenRoss.

Team Dream

June 20th, 2011
11:13 pm

The world according to ‘Hewitt Fan’:

1) AAU Celtics rule the world (what? you didn’t know that??).

2) AAU Celtics have formed a united conspiracy against GT basketball and, because of this, GT will never win another game and will never recruit a good ball player (why? see #1 above).

3) AAU Celtics players don’t git no love in the ACC ‘cuz THE MAN (a.k.a. the refs) keeps bringin’ us down. Ain’t no blood, ain’t no foul, right? Know-em sayin’ ??

KevinM

June 20th, 2011
11:15 pm

Funny how Georgia could have easily helped themselves with this type of hire. What kind of reationship does Coach Fox have with the regional AAU coaches? They are definitely more influential than the high school coaches.
Will Fox figure out how its done in the South eventually? I just don’t hear Georgia’s name linked high with any big time recruits. Fox has to have some kind of good contacts in some part of the country, doesn’t he?

Douglas

June 20th, 2011
11:41 pm

I agree with you RRTDawgs….back when I went to UGA, Hugh Durham hired Tvester Anderson who was a great recruitor for UGA. Fox needs to hire someone with connections in Georgia…what he has is not working.

Hewitt Fan

June 20th, 2011
11:51 pm

@Taco you are 100% right! coach Gregory is not the answer, UGA made a great hire when they hired Fox, the guy WON at Nevada, and now he is winning at UGA, with connections all over the state, CBG never really won at Dayton, 2 ncaa’s in 8 years, 1 year with Purnell’s players, Neal(CELTIC) was the obvious choice, but Gt was too scared to do it!
@Outside Observer Trust me, the whole STATE understands that Gt fully accepts getting absolutely no calls in the ACC, you have to realize that Gt has only won 1, i repeat ONE outright ACC title in school history, and man, Gt has had a LOT of TALENT come through! Price,Salley,Marbury, the Barry brothers, Best, Hammonds, Favors, Young, etc,etc..So what is the problem?.. and

Paul in RDU, you are ducking the ?, are you scared to admit you were on the Ohio State Gt game blog complaining about the refs, only to blame Hewitt later on after GT lost?..i seen you my friend, you knew that the refs prevented Gt from winning that game, but being a GT man, i guess it meant time to blame Hewitt…You fail to realize that all of GT players own computers and read the crap you all were saying about a guy who the kids really respected..I have showed a lot of kids your posts from that night, they were amazed how fast you forgot about what really happened that night lol!..How would you like to be cheated , lose, come home and read bad quotes about your coach, You represent GT very well!..keep it up

@bgdawg Shaq is leading towards UGA, I think he has a bright future in hoops, but in football i think he can really be an ALL PRO TE, I hope he goes to UGA, Imagine a two TE set with Rome and big Shaq!…

Hewitt Fan

June 20th, 2011
11:55 pm

UGA has a bright future, Marcus Thornton is going to be a good one, he played for the Georgia Stars who i hate to admit won the 17u state title in 09, the kid is a beast they had TJ Stripling also, who is good friends with Shaq, also a kid who went to Alabama who plays football named Hubbard?. , can any UGA fan project the starting 5 next year..

Dawg Gone Shame

June 21st, 2011
12:18 am

Didn’t Korey McCray try to get on the staff’s of UGA and GT previously? He obviously had the credentitals having been a coach at the collegiate level before. Not just the stigma of being an AAU coach following him. I follow UGA sports and we blew this chance. Someone had to give McCray a chance of getting back into coaching at the college level. UCLA all the way out west opened that door of opportunity for this man. A door that could have been opened here in this state, with a RED & BLACK BRICK road heading to Athens via 316 or 78. So I can, see why this kid chose to go that far to be with his former coach and friend. Let’s see how many other top kids in the country in that class of 2012 follow them to Westwood, not just another kid from here in GA. If I am the new dude in the state trying to revive a bad bball program. There is no way I don’t hire Korey McCray if I am trying to KEEP the bball talent from leaving this state. He was the vice president of the Atlanta Celtics a program that has been going strong since 1991. Am I missing something here? Or was this a pride issue? Good luck to the kid anyway.

GTBob

June 21st, 2011
12:53 am

He obviously had the credentitals having been a coach at the collegiate level before.

Really? He was a graduate assistant at FSU and an assistant coach at Mercer. Those aren’t exactly credentials for being an assistant at a top school. Who on UGA’s staff would you have replaced with McCray? Outside of the hope that he would bring in his AAU players there was no other reason to hire him. UCLA took a chance which may or may not payoff.

Michael Carvell

June 21st, 2011
12:54 am

@GTBob, thanks for your comment. In my humble opinion, McCray had more than enough playing and coaching credentials for a college assistant. Besides, the biggest value the majority of any college assistants bring to the table is the ability to recruit.

HoopsFan

June 21st, 2011
1:14 am

Can someone please clarify the rule the NCAA themselves (what a JOKE) put out regarding a HS recruits coach is not allowed to recruit a player they have recruited to the school they are employed until there was a two year gap between them? I am just wondering if it extends to AAU coaches who get hired on the college staff? BTW, I am not questioning McCray’s hire or anything like that because he has the credentials. UCLA did everything by the book in hiring and went through the entire process. There might have been more qualified coaches but McCray was the hire that allowed the most HISTORICAL basketball program, especially in the West, to get a foot in GA. Congrats JAdams!!! The work has paid off.

Michael Carvell

June 21st, 2011
1:15 am

@HoopsFan, great topic to address. The NCAA rule has to do with high school coaches hired in a NON-coaching staff position (i.e. Director of Basketball Operations) … NCAA Bylaw 11.4.2 was put in place to prevent colleges from hiring high school coaches to lure prized recruits to campus. It reads: “In men’s basketball, during a two-year period before a prospective student-athlete’s anticipated enrollment and a two-year period after the prospective student-athlete’s actual enrollment, an institution shall not employ (or enter into a contract for future employment with) an individual associated with the prospective student-athlete in any athletics department non-coaching staff position.”

Team Dream

June 21st, 2011
2:12 am

Let’s just fire Gregory and hire ‘Hewitt Fan’ to coach GT basketball. He obviously is in control of EVERYTHING related to the present and future of GT basketball.

BTW … I for one am GLAD that the GT players read these blogs (and that ‘Hewitt Fan’ shows it to them) … then they can understand what a complete and utter imbecile ‘Hewitt Fan’ really is!

11 years of coaching by Hewitt with only one winning season in ACC Conference play. Keep bringing up that Ohio State vs GT game all you want (as if that would have been some sort of turning point had GT won the game). GT demands and deserves better than what Hewitt was able to produce … plain and simple.

GTBob

June 21st, 2011
2:26 am

Michael, I could see him getting an assistant coach position, just not one as high as UCLA. Look at there coaching staff before they came to UCLA:

Scott Garson – 5 years as an assistant at Utah under Rick Majerus.
Phil Mathews – 9 years as a head coach at San Francisco, 4 as an assistant at Nebraska.
Scott Duncan – This is who McCray is replacing. Had over 25 years of assistant coaching experience before joining UCLA. Including 7 in the Pac 10. Was named by several publications as one of the nations top assistants and recruiters.

Compare those to Korey McCray – Graduate assistant at FSU, Assistant at Mercer. Coached local high school club teams. When you have limited assistant coaching positions it just seems like a huge risk wasting one on the hopes that he will bring his AAU kids with him. If he doesn’t bring a few more players with him then he will probably be gone in a few years.

Michael Carvell

June 21st, 2011
2:27 am

@GTBob, thanks for your response. I think you make a lot of excellent points. Are there any higher programs than Duke? I looked at Duke’s coaching staff. The associate head coach is Steve Wojciechowski, who was hired in 1999 as a Duke assistant with zero college coaching experience. Korey was more qualified than that guy before his “big break.” I could find many more examples. Yes, UCLA took a risk, I guess. But with risks, there are rewards. No matter what UCLA’s head coach or McCray say to the media, I will never believe that McCray wasn’t hired with the idea of boosting UCLA’s national recruiting efforts, including in the fertile grounds of the Atlanta area. Plus Korey knows every big-time coach in AAU land across the USA, not only in Georgia. Think how fleeting college basketball is today — With a couple of elite recruits, a college coach can go from the proverbial “hot seat” to getting his salary doubled with a contract extension in the SPAN of ONE season.

dawgerbrown

June 21st, 2011
6:24 am

Can’t really blame him for following “his coach”. As the parent of two kds who were college athletes, I was lucky enough to watch them compete throughout their career. I know it’s selfish, but I although I would be proud of my kid for getting the scholly to UCLA, I would hate the fact that I couldn’t really watch him in person. Hope Shaq considers this, and stays home.

Football_365

June 21st, 2011
6:56 am

Last week didnt you tech fans laugh and call hewitt fan names when he said the hiring of this guy woyld lead to ga players going out west? Gotta love tech fans who think they know everything but at the end of the day know nothing at all. Some of you owe that man an apology.(i know that wont happen tech people are never wrong)

Paddy

June 21st, 2011
6:59 am

Jordan, what will be your major at UCLA? Article forgot to mention that important fact! Was it something UGA and Miami could not offer?

Outside Observer

June 21st, 2011
7:01 am

Hewitt fan, speaking of dodging the question, you have still failed to address my point of GT not being able to run a single inbounds play. I think someone should have taught the kids a simple play either in AAU, high school, or college practice. It should have crossed Hewitt’s mind that at some point during the season, he would have to make an inbounds pass against the press. Yet, after several years of sucking it up, nothing changed. Why is that?

Taco

June 21st, 2011
8:39 am

Please give the job to the Hewitt Fan so he will shut the h$ll up and go away. He makes me want to jump off a buidling. What is done is done. Clinton should have killed OBL. Kennedy should not have went to Dallas. The British should not have appeased the Germans. Weiner should not have hit the send/post button. So what! Now where do we go genius? Give ideas and suggestions, you look like an a$$ driving from the back seat.