Next came Luol Deng. He only made it five feet into the room before he was shoved against a big screen television and "interrogated."
Finally, came Ndudi. He, too, made it five feet before being surrounded by microphones and tape recorders. Each reporter, of course, wanted Ndudi to say that he would attend that reporter's school.
He was asked questions, of which most 17 year old basketball players don't know the answers. When will you make your decision? Explain your relationship with Coach K. Does the fact that Mike Davis made it to the championship game affect your decision? After ten minutes of questions and answers, he was done…with those reporters.
Next, he was asked to go to the back of the room for a one-on-one television interview with a local Indianapolis television station.
I was next. I asked him relatively simple questions like what's going on with Texas basketball? Does he like playing basketball in a "football state?" What's it like to be a high school phenom? What do you think of all this press? Who do you like to play against?
He listened intently and answered all of them. I finished by telling him that he was a great basketball player with a great list of schools and he couldn't go wrong with any of them. He said thank you and told me he enjoyed my interview. I thought to myself, what a nice kid.
Ebi will make any school including Indiana, Duke, Texas or Arizona a better basketball team.
At 6' 7 ½" or 6' 10" or anywhere in between, he'll be playing the 3 or the 4 wherever he chooses to go to school. He seems better suited for the 4. His timing on rebounds and shot blocking is too valuable to hime keep out on the perimeter, although he can knock down the three.
"I don't come to these camps to make buddies" he told me when I asked him to name his camp friends. You can see that same focus on the court...All business.
He wanted to shoot the game winning free throw (to break a tie) to win a 3-on-3 game for his team. He made it. Hassan Adams is said to have a great work ethic. Ndudi's might be better.
So what are the answers to all those questions he was asked and when will he make a decision?
*"Maybe soon, maybe later, whenever my gut tells me." Like Luol Deng told me, sometimes you want to choose a school just so everyone will leave you alone, but then you don't want to make the wrong decision.
*Ndudi likes playing in a state where basketball is "underground." That must be a common thought because Jason Horton said basically the same thing.
*His relationship with Coach K is a typical player-recruit relationship.
One question and one answer that really stuck with me was when I asked, "Which players do you like to play with?"
Ndudi answered, "It doesn't matter. Just give me a point guard and I'll be satisfied."
If he meant that, my gut tells me he should attend Point Guard U. I hope his does too.