Telfair dreams of winning NCAA Championship

<b>PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES</b> --Quotes from Sebastian Telfair's press conference discussing his college/NBA intentions, Carmelo Anthony, what Coach Pitino told him about decision making in life, the importance of the U of L fans on his decision and his desire to be the point guard Coach Pitino's system needs.

Thursday afternoon, Sebastian Telfair (6-0, 165) announced his intention to sign a letter of intent to play at the University of Louisville.

"I would like to announce that I have decided on a school and that school is the University of Louisville and Rick Pitino," Telfair said at his 4:30 press conference Thursday in front of class mates wearing T-shirts with the question: NBA or College? Telfair says Louisville.

Considered one of the top point guard prospects in the nation, the Brooklyn, N.Y., senior said he chose Louisville because of the reputation of Coach Rick Pitino and the fervor of Cardinal fans.

"Coach Pitino told me that I would make a lot of decisions in my life, some would be good, and some bad," Telfair said. "He told me playing for him at the University of Louisville would be one of the best decisions I could make.

With NBA blood in his family, cousin Stephon Marbury plays for the Phoenix Suns and brother Jamel played under Pitino in Boston, and skills heralded since making the ABCD all-star team as a ninth-grader, there has been talk that Telfair may skip college and opt for the NBA Draft by the June 24 deadline.

"All my life I've wanted to play college basketball," Telfair said. "As of right now, (college) is my choice definitely."

When asked if it might have been suggested that he play at U of L one year and then make the jump, he mentioned that he followed former Syracuse star Carmelo Anthony closely.

"It's always been a dream of mine to win an NCAA championship," he said.

Louisville was the only college Telfair said he seriously considered. He became interested in the Cardinals two years ago, and has had support especially from Jamel and buddy LeBron James.

His decision was solidified after his Sept. 26 visit to the Louisville campus with fellow-classmate Brian Johnson.

First, though, on the future-Cardinal's agenda is his final high school season.

"They said the big thing is the fans," said Telfair, who stayed with Francisco Garcia and Taquan Dean on his visit. "And the team is like one big family. That's important to me."

Telfair hopes Cardinal fans will pack Freedom Hall when he gets there next fall, too.

"It's a big basketball place," he said. "I like to play in front of people. I like to have a lot of fans watch me play."

The kid who said he'd like to say he plays like Michael Jordan but is more like Allen Iverson or Marbury, believes he can fine-tune his game in Pitino's system. But for now he has his senior season in high school to worry about. He has taken and passed his SATs and grades are not a problem.

Coached by the aptly-named though unrelated Dwayne Morton and brother, Jamel Thomas, Telfair and the Abraham Lincoln Railsplitters will go for their third New York City(PSAL) title, and second-straight New York State Federation title (Class A).

As a junior, he averaged 28.0 points a game, but is known more for his crafty passing and on-court awareness.

"Louisville plays an up-tempo defense, and like to push the ball," Telfair said. "You need a guard to push it and I want to be that guard."


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