STORRS – What Shabazz Napier started at UConn, Jalen Adams will continue.
Adams, one of the top guard prospects in the Class of 2015, made an oral commitment to attend UConn on Monday morning.
"I was sold on the program," Adams said by phone Monday afternoon. "Once my parents came on campus and met the coaches and they were on board, it was pretty much a done deal."
Adams, 6 feet 2, 160 pounds, is a top-50 recruit on most lists – ESPN ranks him No. 33. He plays for Cushing Academy of Ashburnham, Mass., and with the AAU team Mass. Rivals. He describes himself as "Boston born, Roxbury raised," an expression of pride in the Roxbury section of Boston that would please Napier.
"I've always liked UConn," Adams said. "Seeing guards like Kemba, and a local guy from where I'm from go on to higher levels, I could see what the program did for them."
Napier, of course, was a two-time national champion at UConn and on Monday was in Miami, where the Heat presented the first-round draft pick with his No. 13 jersey.
UConn cannot comment on Adams or any recruit until they sign a letter of intent or financial aid agreement, and that can't happen until November. But Huskies coaches have to be delighted. They invested a lot of time in Adams. He came to UConn for First Night last October, and UConn coaches often saw him play for Cushing Academy and for his AAU team. Adams said Ollie first saw him play as a ninth grader. Adams hit a buzzer-beater for Cushing in a state championship game as a sophomore.
"He's a dynamic player, is the word I use," said Vin Pastore, Adams' AAU coach. "He's athletic, he's got speed. He can score in a multitude of ways. He's 6-2, but he has a 6-6 1/2 wingspan, so he can defend that position."
Adams joins Will "Turtle" Jackson, a 6-3 guard from Athens, Ga., as UConn's commits from the Class of '15. Guard Prince Ali from Florida decommitted last month. Now the Huskies are in search of frontcourt players. Josh Sharma, a 7-0 center from Northfield-Mount Hermon, visited UConn with Adams.
Diamond Stone (6-10) from Milwaukee visited two weeks ago. Last week, UConn had Chance Comanche (6-10) from Los Angeles and Steve Enoch (6-9) from Norwalk High.
Derrick Jones, a 6-6 swingman from Philadelphia, was on campus visiting Monday.
Giffey Heading South
Niels Giffey, who has been invited to play for the Memphis Grizzlies' summer league team, was at Gampel working out and shooting around. He will leave for Orlando on Tuesday.
"I'm excited about the opportunity," Giffey said. "I'm just going to go down there, give it all I have and try to make the team."
Giffey worked out for several teams, including the Knicks under the eye of Phil Jackson, and was at a camp for NBA prospects in Italy. He said he helped open some NBA eyes.
"I think they saw I was more athletic," Giffey said. "That I could do some things that didn't show in the games."
Freshmen Settling In
Daniel Hamilton and Rakim Lubin, UConn's incoming freshmen, arrived on campus last week – as hundreds of kids were participating in Ollie's camp. They began summer classes Monday. Hamilton said he is glad to no longer have to answer questions about his decision not to sign a letter of intent. "I'm real excited about not having to answer questions about the NLOI and stuff like that, because I'm here," Hamilton said. "And I just think that my word is bigger than the NLOI or any paper. I told Coach Ollie I was coming, and I'm here now."… Lubin, listed at 6-8, said he has lost about 15 pounds this summer and weighed in at 248. He has a broad upper body, the kind of strength UConn needs. At Buford High in Georgia, he led the state in rebounding with 13 a game. … Finishing touches are being applied to the new basketball training center, including the words "UConn Basketball Champions Center" on the front facade. The courts are installed. The men's and women's teams will begin moving in July. … UConn anticipates a second consecutive APR score of 1,000 for the men's program following the 2013-14 academic year. Everyone remained academically eligible, and among those who left school early, DeAndre Daniels will sign a pro contract, and Leon Tolksdorf transferred and left with good academic standing.Copyright © 2015, CT Now