Daniel Orton: Ready for Business - PART ONE

Kentucky Sports Report's Larry Vaught takes you behind the scenes with Daniel Orton, one of the Wildcats' most prized recruits in this five part series.

Even though he's one of the nation's top prep basketball players now, Daniel Orton was not always destined to be a sports star.

"He was never really a sports junkie," said Larry Orton, Daniel Orton's father. "He played a little baseball when he was about 7 years old, but nothing serious. But God did give him special talents. He has worked to develop those talents and has surprised me with how good he is, but don't forget he was given special abilities."

The 6-9, 260-pound center from Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City, will bring those special abilities to Kentucky next season.

Future Wildcat Vinny Zollo can and is thrilled that the Wildcats have added Orton.

"Daniel is a good guy. He's first class, but he's real humble, down to earth and soft spoken. He is fun to be around," Zollo, a 6-0 sophomore at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester, Ky., said. "He has a great attitude and plays like he is a lot older than he is. He is really big and strong. Actually, he's a beast on the court.

"He is such a playmaker inside. It is like you are guarding a house. He is a big kid. He is just really developed and really a good player. He has so much experience and knows the game really well. He is an inside player, but he has a nice jumper. He can extend his game outside and is all right with going outside to score."

Perhaps Orton is so versatile because he was not always a "beast" playing center. He grew 15 inches his freshman year in high school and went from a normal-sized 13-year-old player to a potentially dominating 14-year-old player.


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