The Maryland coaching staff was out in full force last week at the Reebok Breakout Classic in Philadelphia. One future prospect the Terp coaches were checking out was Roselle (N.J.) Catholic High 2016 point guard, Asante Gist.
It might seem a little early to be recruiting a 2016 prospect, Gist is already showing he has a lot of potential. Plus, Gist already has some natural ties to the Maryland program.
"Everyone keeps asking me if I am related to James Gist," said Gist, whose father's name also happens to be James. "I think some where down the line, we might be distant cousins or something because we have family kind of all over the place."
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound point guard is also close friends with future Terp, Jared Nickens.
"Me and Jared are from the same area, so I am learning a lot more about Maryland now that he is going there," Gist said. "Jared's been a good example for me because he has always been a really good shooter, but he worked really hard on his game and it is paying off. He can do a whole lot more than just shoot now, he has a great handle and he is a really good passer too."
Like Nickens, Gist is no stranger to hard work. He hits the gym twice-a-day, six days a week.
"I usually hit the weights in the morning, and then hit the gym later to do some skill work and shooting," Gist said. "I have been basically doing that everyday for the past seven or eight years."
Gist started as a freshman for Roselle Catholic, and helped the Lions to their first Tournament of Champions title.
"I played with a lot of really good players on my high school team, guys like, Tyler Roberson and Malachi Richardson, so I had to be able to get them the ball and still do what I needed to do," Gist said. "So I learned how to get the ball into the hands of the other talented players, but also be a threat."
Gist's experience playing with guys like Roberson and Richardson, has helped him develop a toughness that is lacking from most young players. Gist's versatility and his high-motor have already attracted interest from a number of schools, including: Villanova, North Carolina State, Rutgers, Maryland, Florida, and St. Joe's.
"I just took an unofficial to last week to Villanova," said Gist, who already picked up offers from Seton Hall and Fordham. "I think may try to get to a few more schools at the end of the summer."
As far as his interest in Maryland?
"Maryland reached out to my father and my coach, so I know they are interested," Gist said. "That's pretty big. That is a good school, and I know they have a good program, especially with them heading to the Big Ten.
Gist added: "I like how they get up and down the court, and I feel as though if I go there I can definitely get to where I want to go in the future. "
Gist Showing Early Potential
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