UK, Gillispie Eye Late Qualifier

The University of Kentucky basketball coaching staff is attempting to pull a rabbit out of its hat for the late signing period in 2007, as new coach Billy Gillispie is attempting to convince prized recruit Beas Hamga to enroll in the fall, as opposed to staying with his original classification for 2008.

"I passed my test score," Hamga noted, "and I'm now looking at graduating now. I have my score so I can be playing next year for college if I want to."

The University of Kentucky got wind of the possibility that Hamga, a 6-foot-11, 220 pound center, might be open to possibly enrolling after last weekend's Kingwood Classic in Houston.

Gillispie was at Hamga's home this afternoon to discuss the possibility.

"I like the coaches there," Hamga said. "They are real nice at Kentucky. I like them alot right now. They said they want me to come to school next year and that they need help inside."

Hamga was arguably one of the top rising prospects in the 2008 class, after a decent rising junior season that saw him average close to 20 points and over 10 rebounds a game.

"I played okay last year and am feeling better," Hamga said. "I need to work on my inside game and on getting stronger."

Hamga opened up his recruitment after previously verbally committing to Iowa under former coach Steve Alford, who has since depatured for New Mexico. The Lebos are one of five schools that currently Hamga is considering.

"I was disappointed with what happened with Coach Alford, but he's really happy about his new job" Hamga confirmed. "They made me feel comfortable about going to Iowa for school."

"That's why I like Kentucky," Hamga said. "They make me feel like I can trust them. I also like Indiana, Memphis and New Mexico. I like all of the schools right now in my top five, but I do like Kentucky."

According to a report that circulated on Scout.com from WeAreDePaul.com earlier Monday, Hamga is also considering Memphis among his five finalist.

A native of Cameroon, Hamga currently is housed under the roof of Indiana Elite AAU coach Mark Adams, whose son Drew walked on at Iowa under Coach Alford. Adams intimate ties with the former Indiana star, possibly could have helped lead the 6-foot-11, 220 pounder to deciding on the Big Ten school to begin with. It's a relationship that certainly could play a role in Hamga deciding on a college.

"I want to feel comfortable with where I choose," Hamga reinterrated. "It's important to me to feel like they can make me get better and that I am important to them."


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