Andre Iguodala gains release, looking West

Last November Nolan Richardson was the head coach at the University of Arkansas and Andre Iguodala signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Razorbacks. Within the last month Richardson asked that his contract be bought out and the university complied. Then Richardson asked to be reinstated, but the request was denied. With Richardson out, Iguodala knew he did want to play for the Razorbacks.

However, he had other more pressing issues to deal with.

During all this turmoil, Iguodala was involved in the Illinois State Championship where he led his team to the championship games before his Springfield Lamphier team lost to perennial powerhouse Chicago Westinghouse.

After the tournament, Iguodala asked for and was granted his release from Arkansas.

"There were a lot of things that came out that made me uncomfortable (with attending Arkansas)," Iguodala said. "So I thought it would be best if I moved on."

Iguodala cannot be recruited by any other school until he receives the release and sends a copy to those schools he might like to attend.

"They told me it would take three to five weeks to get the release," Iguodala said. "So I can't do anything until then."

So what has Iguodala been doing?

"I was up at Proviso West (High School) yesterday (Mar. 22)," he said. "I'm a long jumper and high jumper on my track team."

Iguodala is not only a high jumper, but also placed second in the state as a sophomore and third his junior year.

"My best jump is 6-10," Iguodala said. "But during the state championships last year it rained and I only jumped 6-7. I think I could have won it if it hadn't rained."

Iguodala might be a very good high jumper, but he's a great basketball player.

At 6-7, Iguodala is the big wing most college basketball programs thirst for. He has the ball handling skills of a point guard and Richard Jefferson-type athleticism. Yet he's a better defensive player, and that's why almost every big time basketball program in the country tried to recruit him.

He narrowed his choices to Arkansas, Kansas, Arizona and Boston College before eventually choosing the Razorbacks. He says he will not look any further than the other three schools and will make a decision while waiting for a copy of his release.

"I don't want to go through that (the recruiting process) again," Iguodala said when asked if he would open up his recruiting to other schools.

Although Iguodala is somewhat protective at this time and he wouldn't eliminate Boston College, I got the distinct feeling Arizona and Kansas were one-two at this time.

"I like the style Arizona plays," Iguodala said. " They like to run and push the ball, the same with Kansas. And they both have great coaches too."

Iguodala said that he got to know Hassan Adams, who signed with the Wildcats, and "that's a plus."

Adams, a 6-4 two-guard from Los Angeles Westchester, and Chris Rodgers, a 6-3 combo-guard from Portland Wilson, were the only players signed by Arizona during the fall signing period. The Wildcats have two scholarships to give and one would definitely go to Iguodala if he wants it.

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