Ngarndi update from Coach Handley
Western High School Head Coach Paul Hanley spoke with Inside theVille.com Friday afternoon about his star forward, 6'8 Guy Ngarndi. Ngarndi, who leads the state of Kentucky in rebounding with 13.9 per game, is receiving heavy recruiting interest from many of the top schools in the nation, according to Handley. With his combination of size, athleticism, skills and potential there's little doubt Ngarndi will be one of the nation's most sought prospects this spring.
Handley listed Louisville, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Indiana, Arizona State, USC, Western Kentucky, Fresno State, Ohio State and Pepperdine as schools that have shown interest in the native of the Cameroon.
Handley told ITV that Ngarndi has visited Ohio State and that the University of Kentucky's chief recruiter, Scott Rigot, was in attendance last Friday for the PRP-Western game to scout Ngarndi. Handley also told Inside theVille.com, that UK called the school this past Monday to request Ngarndi's transcripts and other academic records and that Ngarndi visited UK for the LSU game.
Western Kentucky has offered a scholarship and University of Cincinnati Head Coach Bob Huggins was in town to see Ngarndi Tuesday night at Male High. And according to Handley, one prominent Division 1 head coach told him that Ngarndi, "reminds [him] of Kenyon Martin."
According to Handley, a current assistant coach at one of the top college basketball programs in the United States told him that Ngarndi is, "A very intriguing prospect that runs the floor well and has great athleticism."
And it appears the University of Louisville's interest in Ngarndi is heating up as the spring recruiting period draws closer. In fact, Handley confirmed that Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino will be in attendance Friday night for the Western-North Hardin game.
Handley told ITV that Ngarndi played at UofL, "during the open gym last summer and UofL's has shown interest in him."
So what is the most important factor for Ngarndi in choosing a school this spring?
"Education," said Handley. "He wants to major in economics but he's also looking for a team with a running style and will push the ball up the floor to showcase his athleticism."
Handley said that most college coaches he talks with about Ngarndi envision the 6'8 forward on the wing at the next level. "He's most likely a three at the next level," Handley said.
Handley said many coaches love Ngarndi's shot blocking ability and many college coaches have described Guy as possessing, "perfect timing," when blocking shots. And with a 7'0 wing span, Ngarndi could present huge match up problems for opposing small forwards at the next level with his length and athletic ability.
Handley said Ngarndi probably wouldn't decide on a college choice until after the Derek Anderson Derby Festival Classic in April and hoped his star player would be invited to showcase his skills in the prestigious, annual event.
ITV became aware of an 8th grade point guard prospect that played on the Butler AAU team last summer and plays on the Western High freshman team this season, about a month ago. In our interview, Coach Handley informed ITV that the player in question is none other than Jamal Crook. And the youngest Crook has strong ties to the UofL basketball program. Yes, that right, Jamal is the nephew of former UofL great Herbert Crook, a member of the 1986 National Championship team. Jamal is the son of Herb's brother, Flenor. And according to Coach Handley, Jamal is "going to be a good one."
I also want to note the tremendous job Coach Handley has done in three years at Western High. Handley, the former coach at LaRue County, demands excellence and respect from his players and those qualities are evident when his team steps out on the floor. Despite it's record, the Warriors play hard, and show tremendous class on the court and are a well coached team that is exciting to watch. They play a fundamentally sound brand of basketball and despite losing last week against PRP, never quit and continued to fight to make a competitive contest against the deeper and more talented Panthers.