2007's Lawal Has Top Five

You have to love a 6-foot-8 power forward that not only is athletic on the court, but he cooks meals twice a week at home for his family. Gani Lawal is a name you need to get familiar with in the Class of 2007. Why? Because big time recruiters are hitting him hard.

Just a sophomore – and a big time one at that – Gani Lawal of Riverdale High already has high-major offers. Georgia and Georgia Tech have made the in-stater a priority recruit and for good reason.

See, Lawal is 6-foot-8 (and rapidly growing), athletic, long, bouncy, smart, defensive minded, offensively capable and well, just an all-around good kid. Toss in some high academic goals, mix in loads of potential and you have the ingredients for a stud recruit in 2007. In fact, Scout.com ranked him No. 11 in the country and we'd be lying if we didn't tell you that we're looking for a way to squeeze him into the crowded Top 10.

Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky round out Lawal's current Top 5. Arkansas and DePaul have offered and places like Wake Forest and North Carolina State have shown a lot of interest as well.

Lawal was on the move during his season visiting Duke twice – once for a game and once for practice – Georgia Tech (he lives 10 minutes from campus) and Georgia. He plans on seeing UK's campus this summer and he's an avid watcher of the game on TV.

Every now and then he'll pick up the phone and make a call. "I call Kentucky sometimes and they seem like they have a little interest in me," Lawal said of the school that has yet to offer. "That motivates me a lot to get better."

Lawal has had little problems improving his game. In fact, he's pretty comfortable where he's at right now heading into the spring prior to his junior season.

"I think I gained confidence to do some things," Lawal said of his sophomore season. "I got better as far as things I can do on the court. I shot it on the perimeter more often and I still kept a steady low post game. I felt my dribbling increased and my confidence rose to do those things."

One of the more well rounded guys in his class, Lawal gets it done in the classroom as well. He wants to graduate high school with atleast a 4.0 GPA and no less than 1,300 on the SAT.

He makes strong and confident statements in a humble manner (think Dwight Howard in terms of demeanor). Lawal is extremely dedicated to achieving a list of goals and isn't afraid to talk the talk yet put in the work it's going to take to reach his dreams.

"I want to be the No. 1 player in the nation or considered one of the best by my senior year," a humble Lawal said. "I want to be a strong player and I want to be able to pick whatever college I want to go to. I want to win the region the next two years and win state also. I want a state championship, that's one of my goals.

"Also, before all these goals I want to keep God first and I thank him daily."

This is a big summer for a player of Lawal's caliber. It's a chance to cement his standing as one of the elite players in his class and at his position. There's every reason to think he's capable of building on the foundation he laid as a junior. Lawal's a lot of things – student, son, brother, player – but at the heart of it, he's got a basic passion for the game.

"I just like basketball. I'll watch any game. The game of basketball itself, I just love it."

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