Lenny Cooke update

<i>IC</i> readers have been asking for news on Lenny Cooke -- and Clint Jackson provides the following update story.

Lenny Cooke wants to go to college. At least that's what his guardian Debbie Bortner told us over the phone today from her home in Old Tappan, New Jersey.

"Yeah, I think he wants the college experience, he wants to experience the types of things that college kids do," Bortner said. "I think he really wants to go to college and he's doing everything academically so he can to get there."

The general consensus among analysts, college coaches and insiders is that the 19-year-old senior at Old Tappan wants to head directly to the league. Most people have had those beliefs on Cooke for well over two years and the 6-6 star has done little to sway their thoughts. This belief has also severely affected the number of colleges that want to spend the effort to recruit him.

"Most of the coaches tell us that they don't want to spend the time or money to recruit him because they think he's going to just go to the NBA," Bortner, said.

Most, but not all.

There are two programs that continue to hold hope and put forth the effort, just in case Lenny does want to spend some time on a college campus.

St. Johns and Memphis -- Mike Jarvis and John Calipari -- are the only two programs and coaches who are actively pursuing Cooke.

"(John) Calipari sends something every day," added Bortner, "and I think he's just always had a fascination with St. Johns. I think it's probably accurate saying that they're probably the frontrunner."

One of the other programs that expressed interest in Cooke earlier in the year was North Carolina, but it seems that the staff has cooled on Cooke, according to his guardian.

"Well, they actually have not called in quite some time. I'm not sure what happened," she said.


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