Gani Lawal is an outstanding 16 year old basketball player from Riverdale, Georgia, and despite only being a sophomore, the 6-8 star has already whittled his college wish list down to just five schools. Three of them call the Atlantic Coast Conference home.
"My top five are Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Kentucky and Georgia," said Lawal, in a matter-of-fact tone. "Not all of them have offered yet, but those five schools are all recruiting me pretty hard and those are my favorites."
The high school season is finished for young Lawal, after his Riverdale squad lost in the opening round of the regionals. And despite a dissappointing season that concluded with a 10-13 record, the combo forward is taking some things away from the season to build on the future.
"Well, the season certainly didn't go as well as I had hoped but hopefully we can take some positives out of it and build on those things next year," he said.
Speaking of those positives -- at least from an individual standpoint -- the 210 pounder averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and an astounding SEVEN BLOCKED SHOTS PER GAME.
Yup, back up and read that last statisitic once again.
SEVEN rejections. Seven swats. Seven get that #%&* outta here's.
You do the math and that's 161 blocks in one season. Pretty incredible for a sophomore playing ball in suburban Atlanta.
And the young rejector recently took in another trip to Durham to take in the Wake Forest game. And we had reported earlier that he and his mother traveled up from suburban Atlanta for the annual Blue-White game as well.
"It was a great game," said Lawal," there was a lot of energy in that place and I had a chance to go back in the locker room pre game and during halftime with Jon Scheyer."
He elaborated on Duke's interest...
"Well, I feel that they are very interested in me because they tell me that they're going to continue to watch me closely this summer. I've talked with most all of the coaches and I feel that I am pretty high on their list. I certainly know that they're interested in some other high profile guys as well, so we'll just see how that goes."
Lawal informed TDD that he plans to suit up with the Georgia Stars this summer, a squad that featured two of the best guards in the country last year in Louis Williams and Mike Mercer. He also plans to attend the Nike All American Camp in Indianapolis.
"I'm definitely going to be a late guy," said Lawal, in regards to when he felt he'd ultimately pick a school. And the good news is that with this kid -- his academics are already in order.
And that may be the understatement of the year.
"Right now, my GPA is a 3.8 and I take all honor and AP classes. I have taken the PSAT and scored a 1300 on it, and I'm scheduled to take the SAT in late March," he noted.
Did we mention he's only a sophomore?
On the subject of offers, Lawal believes that he has firm offers from many schools, but most noticeably programs such as Georgia Tech, Georgia, Arkansas and Depaul. And he thinks that Duke could extend the grant soon as well.
"I feel that it may come soon," he said." I just have to keep working, but I feel I'm high up on their list as well. If they did offer me, that'd be something I might have to sit down and consider with my parents, but I still insist that I'm going to take my time with this."
And why shouldn't he? He's just a sophomore.