Rutgers Offers 2016 PG Gist

Rutgers basketball coach Eddie Jordan is laying the framework with future recruiting classes with 2014 almost full before the start of the school year. Rutgers hosted Roselle Catholic (N.J.) 2016 guard Asante Gist Monday afternoon and he left with his first Big Ten verbal scholarship offer.

James Gist of East Orange grew up a fan of the Rutgers 1976 Final Four team led by a young Eddie Jordan. Gist has seen things come full circle when Jordan, now head coach, offered his so Asante Gist a scholarship. "With a program like Rutgers, they've been showing interest in Asante and to have him up for a visit and have this big presentation ready made him feel like they really want him," said James Gist. "They really want him to be a part off the Rutgers family."

Gist met with the staff Tuesday and left campus with his fourth scholarship offer.

The chance to talk to Jordan about the program stood out for the family, Gist said.

"I grew up in that era," he said. "I watched him lead a team to the Final Four at Rutgers. Mike Dabney from that team went to the same high school as I did – East Orange High School. I kind of followed that and it was really exciting that a Division I school in the neighborhood was doing very well. It was exciting for everybody involved and everybody supporting them."

Rutgers assistants David Cox and Van Macon helped recruit Gist before the offseason coaching change but turned up the heat this summer.

With Jordan in charge, Rutgers has been more active in its recruitment of Gist.

"I didn't know him (Jordan) personally, but I kind of know what he's about," he said. "I was around when he did what he did in the Final Four. When the other regime was there, there was no offer.

"I knew Mike Rice and [Jimmy] Martelli and there was no offer. Then Eddie comes in and sees Asante and instantly knows he wants to build a program and a future with Asante. He would be a focal point of the recruiting class. I think that's great. With the work we put in, to have Rutgers come in now and want Asante to come to Rutgers is great."

Gist also has offers from Seton Hall, Fordham and Pennsylvania. North Carolina State is showing heavy interest, James Gist said.

"Seton Hall has shown very strong interest, but as of late, Rutgers has been very, very out there," he said. "They've been showing very strong interest, so I would say those two schools are on Asante the hardest right now."

As a rising sophomore, Gist is still growing at 5-foot-10 and plays point guard for the 17-and under New Jersey Roadrunners AAU team.

"He brings dedication and hard work, James Gist said. "It's just something that we've been doing for a long time. Asante has been really focused on improving his game and becoming a complete point guard. He's been doing it a long time."

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