There has also been a call from Coach Brian Gregory, the recently hired coach at Georgia Tech. "I heard from Coach Gregory Thursday night and he looks forward to continuing discussions about their interest in Arnaud. Arnaud had an offer previously from Coach Hewitt."
Has the coaching change had any impact on Arnaud? "The short answer is "no." The school (Georgia Tech) is still the same quality school it was. Their Final Four showing also remains. Education and the quality of the adults, especially the head coach, will be important as we go through the recruiting process. I believe Tech remains in a very favorable position and we look forward to getting to know Coach Gregory better and to have him get to know Arnaud and see him play in person."
How did Arnaud and Coach Fitzpatrick's worlds collide? "At Episcopal, we do a lot of work with consultants, who bring quality young men from Africa to our program. Joe Touomou has the Kossengwe Foundation and we worked through him and Arnaud was the result. Joe played at Georgetown, so he knows both sides of the equation in finding quality young men and having them assimilate into basketball in the U.S."
The move for Arnaud was not as simple as it sounds. ""Like all students at our boarding school, Arnaud had to qualify and he did. He came here in August of 2009 and has blossomed. He's on our soccer team and track team, has an 85 average (out of 100) and I know consider him part of our family."
Arnaud has been a versatile player for Coach Fitzpatrick. "He's 6-6 with a 7-foot wingspan and has played all five positions for me. He probably would be a 3 or maybe even 2 in college. He thrives on competition, has a wonderful attitude and has actually gotten better each month to the point he is being recruited by thirty or more schools; about ten have offered scholarships."
Coach Fitzpatrick is helping Arnaud with his recruitment as he didn't grow up in the basketball spotlight. " I am filtering the recruiting and coaches' interest. Eventually, with him, his mother, Joe and I will narrow the list of schools down for visits in the fall with five official visits and maybe one or two more unofficial visits. Then before his senior season, we will make a final decision."
The next few months will find Arnaud concentrating on a variety of things that gowith school life. "We want him to finish the fourth quarter (academically) strong…to continue to excel in track (high/long jump) and enjoy the experiences of being 17. He hopes to get back to Cameroon to see his family, who he hasn't seen since coming here in August of 2009."
The summer will find Arnaud spending a lot of time in the gym. "He plays AAU ball with the DC-based, Team Takeover, a group of D-1 recruits for Keith Stevens. He and I are on the same page in Arnaud's development and that's been a great experience for all."