Giddens continues to improve

Four-star center Daniel Giddens is getting stronger on and off the court.

There were a few defining games for Daniel Giddens this summer. One was when the Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler standout struggled to guard the shorter, but stronger, Noah Dickerson. Now the class of 2015 center is determined not to have that happen again.

One look at Giddens and it is clear that he has been working hard in the weight room. At 6-foot-9 he is a physical specimen on the court and is committed off of it.

"A couple of games in July I realized my body wasn't where it needed to be even though I was working hard," Giddens explained. "A lot of heavier dudes over 260 were giving me a hard time so I put in an extra dedication to the weight room. I am at 232 pounds now and it has benefitted me a lot and I am trying to carry it into the season."

So far numerous coaches have been down to Wheeler to see the new and improved Giddens.

"There have been quite a few head coaches," said Giddens. "Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Texas, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, South Carolina, Ohio State, NC State and more are coming week by week. I know Arizona is supposed to come next week."

When it comes to making visits, Giddens says only one is planned so far.

"I take my first visit this Saturday to Georgia," said Giddens. "From there my parents and I are going to work on others."

Georgia Head Coach Mark Fox has been making Giddens a priority, and Giddens likes what he sees from the SEC program.

"It is a hometown school," said Giddens. "I like the environment there and the fan support for every sport is great. It is a real good coaching staff. Coach Fox has produced some pros, the last one being Kentavious (Caldwell-Pope) from here in Georgia, so I like that a lot."

Another SEC school that has made an impression is Florida. Head Coach Billy Donovan has made Giddens a priority recruit, and he likes what he has been hearing.

"Coach Donovan and Coach (John) Pelphrey are real good dudes," said Giddens. "They have Brandone Francis coming in and Chris Chiozza who is a real good point guard. They just know how to recruit, and they are having good conversations with my parents. I really like that coaching staff."

The school closest to Giddens' home is Georgia Tech, and Coach Brian Gregory and his staff are doing what they can to keep him home.

"I have liked Coach Gregory since I met him my eighth grade year," Giddens explained. "He is a real good dude. His staff is real faithful to him and they do a real good job of developing their players. People have come out of Georgia Tech and they know how to recruit so I like them a lot."

A newer school in the mix is Arizona. The Wildcats have been recruiting Giddens for a little while, but now they are trying to turn up the heat.

"Arizona started recruiting me in April when I played in Dallas," said Giddens. "They have been in contact with my dad a lot, and I will see what they are talking about when they come down here and see me."

While his recruitment is just now picking up, it isn't something Giddens has spent undue time paying attention to. Recently voted student body president at Wheeler, Giddens put a lot of focus on winning that race.

"My dad told me to try for a leadership role and it is something I have wanted to do since seventh grade," noted Giddens. "I lost it in seventh grade at my old school, but I figured I might as well go for it here and I won it."

For now Mr. Student Body President is taking everything slow, but he is definitely working hard to improve to be ready right away from whichever college he chooses.

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