Christopher opens things up

As a basketball coach, it's always nice to get an early commitment from a player. However, sometimes those players have exceptional camps and garner the attention of more schools. When that happens, it can be tough to keep a player committed to your school. Cal coach Ben Braun found out just how tough last month, when Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair SG Patrick Christopher re-opened his recruitment after committing to the Bears in January.

"I committed early," Christopher told about reversing his decision. "I'm at the point now where I want to make 100% sure where I'm going to college. It's a big decision. So I decided to open it back up to see what else is out there and see what other offers are out there that I can get. I also want to get the whole experience of the recruiting process."

Christopher said it was difficult calling the Cal coaches and telling them he wanted to take some more looks regarding his commitment. "I think any coach would be disappointed (in a decommitment)," Christopher said. "But I would also say they have to understand because I committed early and when you commit early a lot can go on between then."

Washington, USC, Cal, Texas and Kentucky are recruiting him the hardest and are the leaders for his services right now, but Braun and his staff are the only ones to offer him a scholarship at this point.

One thing working in Washington's favor is that Christopher is friends with a current Husky. "I'm actually real close with Bobby Jones," Christopher said chuckling. "He lives right around the corner from me. I've known him since I was young, maybe since middle school.

"I talk to him a lot. He told me to get involved with the players and get my info from them. He also said that (Washington) is a good experience and that the only real dramatic change for him was the rain and the weather. But he said he got used to it because basketball is an indoor sport."

And has he talked with any of the coaches recently?

"I talked to coach (Lorenzo) Romar, coach (Jim) Shaw and coach (Cameron) Dollar," Christopher stated. "I've had some longer conversations with coach Romar. He's from my area and it's always good to have a coach that played basketball. He's a real down to earth guy."

Christopher doesn't claim a leader, but does plan to take visits to Washington, Texas and Kentucky in the near future. Currently he and his AAU teammates are scheduled to be in Las Vegas Thursday night for the Pangos Midnight Madness Tournament.

"I enjoy myself at all of the camps and tournaments," Christopher said. "I just love the game of basketball. It's a desire and joy."

Whichever school he winds up going to will be joyful as well.

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