AAU Spotlight: Tallahassee Wildcats

John Adkins loves competing. He loves coaching AAU basketball and he loves talking about his team, which by the way, should be pretty good this year.

Wildcats Have Talent In Numbers

John Adkins' Nike-sponsored Tallahassee Wildcats have themselves size, skill and talent. The Florida-based boys will feature a handful of Nike Campers and a few more who will spend a couple of days at the Nike Junior Camp. All of this means that Adkins, again, has himself a talented bunch.

"I'm as excited about this season as I've ever been," Adkins said. "Last year's group was not the most talented but I had the same group all year and I anticipate that this year. If we do, we'll be every bit as good if not better than last year." For those who are not familiar with the Wildcats, they won three events last year and closed out the AAU season 58-9.

Who's the top player on the roster? Well, when that question is difficult to answer because there are a number of worthy candidates.

Sophomore swingman Cornelius Ingram is certainly one of the best players on the roster. The 6-5 Hawthorne High product once recorded a quadruple-double game this season.

2003 forward Akini Adkins, a native of Cameroon, is a veteran of the camp circuit and one of the team's most skilled players. He already has high-major offers to his credit. Tallahassee High junior Franklin Young was the leading scorer at a 16 and under event last year so we know he can play. Adkins touts him as a big-time shooter.

However, maybe the most talented, though still developing player in the whole mix is Kathleen power forward Chris Richard. The 6-9 Richard is rapidly moving into "must recruit" status among the elite schools. If he continues to improve, he's going to be a scary player on the summer circuit.

Sophomore Alex Gordon will handle the point guard duties. Former Berkshire standout Brian Mason will be a strong wing guard presence. Adkins has more size in sophomores Christian Weddbon and Alex Blair.

Adkins has big plans for Gordon. "The kid that is going to amaze everybody is Alex Gordon."

Isaac St. Rose and Ron Larrings will play backup guard roles.

The bottom line is this: the Wildcats have a history of good teams and top players. They've won events like the Charlie Weber and have had players such as Tony Bobbitt, Rashad Anderson and Derek Stribling stroll around the country playing for them in the summer.

The 2002 edition of the Tallahassee Wildcats is sure to be a contender at more than one tournament.

"I want to win the AAU Nationals, that's my goal. I've got 10 quality players. I think all 10 of them are high D-I players." When we get down to the dog days of July and the AAU title is on the line, Adkins will have the depth needed to survive the final days of the month in Orlando and it looks like he's got the talent as well.

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