Pitino offers 6'9 Papa Dia

Louisville's Rick Pitino traveled to Connecticut yesterday to watch Papa Dia, a 6'9 sleeper prospect at South Kent Prep School. Before leaving, Pitino extended a scholarship offer to the 240 pound power forward. What's next for Dia? Did Louisville's offer move the Cardinals to the top of Dia's list? InsideTheVille.com has the scoop.

Rick Pitino traveled to Connecticut yesterday to watch and meet with Papa Dia.

Apparently, the Louisville coach came away impressed with the 6'9 power forward and extended a scholarship before leaving.

"Papa smiled ear-to-ear when Coach Pitino offered him a scholarship," South Kent coach Raphael Chillious said. "This is what he's worked so hard for."

Louisville assistant Marvin Menzies laid the groundwork for Dia's recruitment, and Pitino went in to South Kent yesterday to make the final call whether or not to make an offer.

"Coach Pitino came in yesterday and liked what he saw from Papa," said Chillious. "Coach Pitino saw Papa at Nike but really didn't get a good look at him. But here yesterday he saw what Papa can do. He saw him face up, put the ball on the floor and shoot it. Coach Pitino told Papa he's the tpe of player that would fit in to his system at Louisville."

While at South Kent, Pitino sat down for a conversation with Dia for about 30 minutes.

"Coach Pitino told him he was impressed with how he plays," Chillious said. "He asked Papa about his goals to find out if he had the drive that he seeks out of players in his program. I think he was impressed with how Papa handled himself."

Dia has a tentitive official visit scheduled to Louisville on October 13. Until then, Dia will continue to audition for several other big time programs at South Kent, including Cincinnati, Georgia and Oklahoma.

"I would say Louisville has to be the leader right now," Chillious said. "What can you say? It's Louisville and Coach Pitino."

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