Arkansas wows Gradnigo

The Arkansas basketball program hosted one of Louisiana's finest this weekend in Lake Charles LaGrange's Chris Gradnigo (6-6, 205), who came away very impressed by what he saw.

Louisiana prep basketball star Chris Gradnigo got a chance to see the University of Arkansas on his first official visit this past weekend and left clearly impressed by what he found.

"The campus is very big and I like it a lot," Gradnigo said. "I like Coach Heath and all the guys on the team are cool. They look like they are going to be very good in the future. Who wouldn't want to be on a good team like this?"

Arkansas is just one of the several teams interested in Gradnigo, a 6-6, 205-pound small forward now at Lake Charles (La.) LaGrange after averaging 21 points last season at Lake Charles St. Louis.

He's also being courted by Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Iowa State, South Florida and Colorado State – all five who have been to Lake Charles to see him work out and the latter two who have already offered scholarships.

"I am going to South Florida and Colorado State and I was going to go to Notre Dame, but now I might not go," Gradnigo said. "I also might visit Iowa State and Cincinnati. They have both been to see me and want me to come visit them."

Gradnigo is regarded as a very good shooter although he downplays that somewhat and notes he has a lot to work on before being a finished player.

"They (the colleges) all say I can shoot and I guess so, but I feel like I have to continue to work on that as well as all the other parts of my game," Gradnigo said. "I also know that I will have to work on my intensity level because the college game is a lot faster and there is a lot more defense. I am just trying to get better every day."

Gradnigo had a solid campaign last season for St. Louis, a Catholic school that had a lot of success.

"We were number one all season and went 35-5 and we lost in the third round of the playoffs," Gradnigo said. "It was a heartbreaker. We lost to Capitol, a team out of Baton Rouge."

He decided to make the move this season to LaGrange, which is in his district.

"I am at a new school this year and feel food about it," Gradnigo said. "I just feel like it is a better situation for me. They have been pretty good year in and year out . I haven't seen everybody yet because most of the basketball guys are playing football so I can't tell. But we are supposed to be very good."

He will continue to make trips, see which offers come his way and then assess his situation with a hope of inking with someone in the early signing period of Nov. 8-15.

"I am looking for a situation where I can be comfortable with the coaching staff, fitting in with the players and seeing where my game could help them out, basically," Gradnigo said. "I certainly think Arkansas would be a good place for me."


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