Dematha Catholic (Md) High School lead guard Naji Hibbert returned Sunday from an unofficial visit to Texas A&M, and based on his comments, the visit impressed the Baltimore native.
"Everything went well. I had a great time with the players and the coaches," Hibbert said. "I've built a good relationship with Coach Turgeon. He keeps it real. He's a genuine guy."
Rated in the top 75 nationally by Scout.com, the Class of 2009 blue chipper coordinated his unofficial visit with a Texas A&M football weekend. The traditions and events surrounding the football game impressed the 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard.
"The highlight was Midnight Yell Practice where all the students and fans go to the stadium the night before the game and party," Hibbert said. "The players told me that they have Midnight Madness out there on the football field and it's pretty crazy."
The game day atmosphere also wowed Hibbert, and it showed him what to expect for a Texas A&M basketball game.
"Before the game, the players decided to have a pick-up game of football next to the stadium," Hibbert said. "All the fans recognized them and they crowded around to watch the game. Everybody there knew the basketball team."
But it was the atmosphere inside the stadium during the game that excited Hibbert the most. He was particularly amused by "sawing varsity's horns off" when Aggies lock arms and sway back and forth to simulate a sawing motion during the Aggie War Hymn.
"Everybody in the stands starts rocking back and forth and it moves the whole stadium," Hibbert said. "It's pretty cool. The players said they do that at basketball games and the arena gets pretty intense."
And it was the fan support and the comraderie that stood out the most on his Texas A&M visit.
"The atmosphere and the support their fans showed is important to me," Hibbert said. "When the students and fans are behind you like that, it can give you a boost and help get you over the top. I like that. I can just imagine how it will be in the basketball arena."
The Baltimore native also fit in with many of the players, and came away feeling good about the chemistry of the team.
"They are good guys. They made me feel comfortable and part of the group," Hibbert said. "I hung out with all of them – Sloan, Deandre, BJ, Joseph. I had a good visit."
When asked to rate his overall visit to Texas A&M on a scale of 1-10, Hibbert made it clear he enjoyed his time in Aggieland.
"I'd give it a 10," Hibbert said. "I had a great time and I liked everything I saw."
However, Hibbert made it clear that he's no closer to a final decision, which will likely be made early next summer. His plan is to visit several more schools and give everybody on his list a fair shot before narrowing down his choices.
"My brother and coach are helping me go through my options and planning the whole process. They are scheduling my visits," Hibbert said. "I want to see all the schools on my list and then make the best choice for me. I need a place that I feel comfortable at when it comes to college, but I also want a program that can prepare me for the next level."
Based on his experience this weekend, it appears the Aggies will certainly be a serious option for the four-star Class of 2009 guard.
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