Angel Garcia Showing Potential

Angel Garcia has only been playing basketball for a few years, but you'd never know it by watching him on the court. The Puerto Rico native is one of the most offensively gifted players in the Class of 2008.

Angel Garcia hasn't even been in the United States for a year. He's only been playing basketball for the last four years of his life. That's why it's scary to think of how good he can be down the road.

The 6-foot-10, 200-pound sophomore, who spent this past season at Lake Forest High (Ill.) after arriving from Puerto Rico, is extremely skilled on the offensive end of the court.

He averaged 20 points, 11 boards and 3 blocks per game for Matt Vaughn at Lake Forest this past season - and he hasn't slowed down on the club circuit, either.

Garcia knocked down seven trifectas in the second half against Southeast Elite in April. That was no fluke, either, as Garcia was connecting on long-range shots at the Kingwood Classic as well.

``It seems like he plays better the bigger the game," CAPS All-Stars coach Eric Cole said. "He steps up when we play the tougher teams."

``He can do everything," added Cole. "Obviously, he can really shoot the ball from the outside. But he can also post up, drive to the basket and pass the ball."

Right now, Garcia's major weakness is strength and defense.

``In Puerto Rico, they have a 24-second clock," Cole said. "Angel isn't accustomed to playing defense for more than 10 or 15 seconds after they get it over halfcourt."

``When he first came in, his defense was a disaster," Vaughn added. "He was always going for the block and the steal. He's come a long way, but he's still got a long way to go."

It's highly unlikely that Vaughn will be coaching Garcia again next season. Vaughn said that his star forward could end up at Boys to Men Academy (Ill.) under former Julian High coach Loren Jackson because of Lake Forest's difficult academic standards.

``He's a great kid, but he came to us with no English schools," Vaughn said. "He's gotten much better, but he still needs more support than our school can probably give him."

While Garcia is in need of attention in the classroom, he's getting plenty of it from college coaches for his exploits on the court.

Cole said that Garcia has a dozen offers on the table already – including Iowa, Miami, Wisconsin and St. John's. Arizona State, Georgetown, USC, Alabama, Arkansas and Purdue are some of the other schools in the mix.

``Being that he's a kid whose only played four years and the skills he has, I think he's a top five player in the Class of 2008," Cole said. ``His recruiting has really picked up lately."

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