Lighty Focuses On Hoops

David Lighty of Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph is one of Ohio's top athletes as he could be a blue-chip recruit in either football or basketball. Lighty's focus will be on basketball though, and Kyle Lamb caught up with him to see how things are on the recruiting front.

David Lighty might not know where he wants to go, but he sure seems to be having a fun time getting there.

The 6-5 junior wing from Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph averaged 19.4 points a game last season as a sophomore and is amongst the top juniors nationally for this upcoming season.

Lighty has remained pretty consistent over the past few months with a core list of about five schools, but the order he gives them has changed almost daily. It's likely to stay that way, at least for a while longer.

"I'm just trying to remain patient," Lighty said. "I'm weighing out each school individually and hoping to see more of each school."

Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, and Syracuse are the schools in alphabetical order that he continues to list. He has already visited the campuses of Ohio State, North Carolina, Michigan, and Syracuse, and hopes to eventually check out Arizona.

He has had the chance to see a handful of Ohio State games and even more Michigan football and basketball games as he grew up a Michigan Wolverine fan.

Liking Michigan as a kid apparently won't have as much affect on Lighty as you might imagine.

"Nah, it's really not all that important," Lighty said of being a fan of Michigan. "I like them a lot, but I'll just make the best decision I can."

If persistence pays off, Michigan has to like their chances even further.

Lighty said that Michigan and Syracuse have been recruiting him the hardest thus far of all the teams after him.

Ohio State was in on Lighty under Jim O'Brien, but moved further up Lighty's list upon Thad Matta being named head basketball coach -- a theme that has become rather common amongst recruits since Matta was hired.

"It's working out pretty good because they (Matta's staff) were recruiting me at Xavier," Lighty said. "So basically they just switched schools, and now they are recruiting me at Ohio State. It makes it easy on me, that's for sure."

The final decision for Lighty was made a little less complicated this past spring, when he decided to drop football to concentrate fully on basketball. Although Lighty prefers basketball, he also loved football, where he was a pretty talented prospect on the gridiron as well.

"I actually would still love to play both sports in college," Lighty said. "There just was a situation with my school to where I couldn't really play."

Lighty didn't want to elaborate too much on why exactly he dropped football, but he termed it as a "personnel" issue with people involved in the program.

Whatever school Lighty picks, it's going to be a school that has the potential to win. That is about the only thing remaining about Ohio State in his mind.

"I love the fans, the arena, and I love the atmosphere (at Ohio State)," Lighty elaborated. "I just want to wait to see how they do this season."

Lighty said it was as simple as wanting to play for the national title, which explains quite a bit about his list.

"Tradition," he said of North Carolina when asked to recite the first thing that came to mind about each school.

So what about Syracuse?

"Well, they just won a national championship," Lighty said. "Also, there's Carmelo Anthony."

For Arizona and Michigan, it was a little bit different.

"The up and down pace, that's what I like to play," Lighty said about Arizona. "For Michigan, it's the chance to start right away."

When asked about the first thing that came to mind about Ohio State…

"It's the hometown team," he said. "It's the chance to stay home."

Lighty is a part of a tremendous 2006 class in Ohio that also features the Insiders' 4th-ranked junior nationally in Daequan Cook. One of the highlights of Lighty's summer was getting to play with Cook.

"I got to play on the same team as Daequan at the ABCD camp," Lighty said. "We also got to play against O.J. Mayo and Bill Walker. That was really fun."

Of course, Walker and Mayo are in the class of 2007, but the four players combined provide a lethal foursome for one state.

Reportedly, Lighty and Cook really put on a show together. Lighty even suggested that from his point of view, Cook was on the same level as O.J. Mayo.

Might Lighty be interested in playing with Cook in college?

"That would be fun," Lighty said with a laugh.

Of course, the two will go the individual ways wherever they feel is best, but they are in fact sharing some of the same schools. Both of them list Ohio State, Michigan, and North Carolina as very high favorites.

Although Lighty will continue to be given a plethora of attention, he shows no signs of exhaustion. In the words of Tom Petty, the wait is the hardest part.

For Lighty, it might just be the best part.


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