UCLA Involved with Morgan

J'Mison Morgan, the 6-10 junior center who is currently ranked the #37 player in the class of 2008, has seen his recruitment skyrocket by losing some weight and working on his game. UCLA has now jumped into the competition for the strong big man...

J'mison Morgan was a project that few were willing to touch a year ago. Now, after shedding 30 pounds, he has become a sought-after project.

The 6-foot-10, 255-pound South Oak Cliff (Texas) junior big man won plenty of admirers with his play in April – and his list has gone from a few local schools to one that would make any elite player proud.

It's not only because of his size, but also due to his soft hands – and ability to score in the paint.

``My confidence has really grown in the past year and so has my athleticism," said Morgan, who was given the nickname "Bobo" as a toddler when his brother couldn't pronounce Bozo.

``I had hair like Bozo, but he brother couldn't say it," Morgan said.

Morgan said that his transformation began shortly after last summer concluded when he realized his capabilities.

``I knew I had to be a better player than I showed," he said. "And I knew I had to work hard."

Morgan never thought he'd be at this point. Especially not after eighth-grade when the doctors broke both of his knees.

``I was real knock-need," he said. "If I kept going, they said it would have gotten to a point where I wouldn't be able to walk. So they broke them and it took me six months to recover."

A few years later, Morgan went out and led his team to a state title while setting a record for blocked shots.

He has gone from a list that had virtually a trio of high-majors (Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Iowa State) a year ago to one that has plenty of elite programs (Kansas, UCLA, Arizona, Kentucky) involved these days.

``Playing time and my relationship with the coaches are the two most important things," said Morgan, who admits that Alabama has been the most aggressive pursuer.

Morgan will go to Italy with a Reebok All-Star team and then play in the NBA Players Camp and the Reebok U. Camp in Philadelphia.

Then he'll try and turn his attention to figuring out where he wants to play college ball.

``I'm wide open right now," said Morgan, who did admit he's likely to take a visit to Alabama and UCLA. "I'm not even close."

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