News and notes from the Summer Classic East

We're headlong into the second week of the live period, and there's plenty of gossip to be had. Here are some rumblings from the circuit.

  • 6-foot-0, 165 pound point guard Jon Han, a native of Woodmere, NY, who is bound for Laurinburg Prep for another post-graduate year, told us that Temple and Fairfield recently offered him. Han's New England Playaz team streaked to the finals of the Summer Classic East before falling to the GC Ballers juggernaut.

    The crafty southpaw also said that he's heard from Purdue, Rhode Island, Georgetown, and Duquesne. Han, who played at the Tilton School in New Hampshire last year, was named at all-star at the Adidas Showcase camp in Georgia last week. He's participating in the Nike Battleground Event in Cleveland this week, which matches a team of New York players up with a group from Chicago.

    Other New Yorkers in Cleveland include Niko Scott, Phil Jones, Cameron Tyler, Chris Bethel, Ricky Torres, Adam Walker, Tim Brown (formerly T.J. Stukes), and others. The team will be coached by the Chicago Bulls' Ben Gordon, a native of Mount Vernon, N.Y.

  • Another New Yorker suiting up with the New England Playaz, 6-foot-3, 175 pound shooting guard Alex Zampier from Columbia High School in the Albany area, told us that Fordham and James Madison had offered him, in addition to some smaller Division I programs. Alex said that he's also received feelers from schools like Indiana, West Virginia, and Stanford.

    He's also receiving heavy interest from the Ivy League. Zampier is a shooter with some savvy.

  • The thing we love about 6-foot-7 1/2, 215 pound power forward Corey Magee from Fairport, New York, is how hard he plays. You always get an honest effort out of him. He gives the City Rocks a physical rebounder in the post. McGee said that UNC-Wilmington and Davidson were two of the newer schools to show interest in him, and Virginia also called his coach.

    Corey previously told us that he had received scholarship offers from Rider, Canisius, Siena, Buffalo, and St. Bonaventure. Canisius head coach Mike MacDonald was front and center for the City Rocks' playoff game with Metro Boston on Tuesday.

  • Fairfield had multiple coaches monitoring their early commitment from the City Rocks, 6-foot-7, 205 pound power forward Greg Nero from Red Hook, NY. Nero is a good athlete and a credible passer.

  • We were impressed with 6-foot-2, 170 pound combo guard T.J. Czeski from Amsterdam High School in Amsterdam, New York, for the second straight tournament at the Summer Classic East. Czeski, who plays with the Albany City Rocks, is also a standout quarterback and free safety for his football team, but he's leaning toward playing hoops in college.

    We like his poise, patience, and toughness, and he's shot the ball pretty well at previous events. He has a calm to his game that reminds us of another pretty decent quarterback and hoopster from New York state - New Rochelle's Geoff McDermott. Wagner has offered Czeski, and Hartford, Binghamton, and Siena have shown interest. He plays both backcourt spots for his high school team.

  • Jamel Ferguson passed the rock as well as anybody we watched at the Summer Classic East. The 6-foot-4, 190 pound shooting guard from the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts, is unsigned and qualified. Ferguson is a native of Queens who plays with Artie Cox's Team Odom crew, but moonlighted with the New York Elite at FDU.

  • Another player moonlighting with the New York Elite, Adam Walker, wasn't on the team's roster in the program, but succeeded in generating some buzz for himself. A 6-foot-7, 195 pound power forward from Christ the King High School in Queens, Walker will do a post-graduate year at Northfield Mount Hermon in the fall.

    Kent State has expressed interest in bringing him in for this year, and Temple and Fairleigh Dickinson also put out feelers for the wiry four-man. Adam visited St. John's unofficially a couple of weeks ago.

    Walker was outstanding at the Rumble in the Bronx in June playing with his regular crew, Doc Nicelli's Student Athletes, Inc. At FDU he was adjusting to playing with a different team, but he really impressed us in June with his agility and quickness in the post.

    He's playing with a lot of confidence right now. The Student-Athletes will be at the Super 64 in Las Vegas and at Best of Summer in California.

  • Walker's former Christ the King teammate Niko Scott is moving from the NY Elite to Team Odom, coached by Artie Cox. The 6-foot-3, 190 pound shooting guard had verbally committed to Columbia during the season, but wasn't able to gain admission this spring. Most likely he'll stick with his commitment to Joe Jones' program, barring a "dream" type of school coming in and offering him.

    West Virginia coach John Belein watched him workout last weekend. The Mountaineeers are looking to add another guard for the fall. Richmond also just extended a scholarship offer for the fall. Niko is doing a post-graduate year with Jason Smith at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire this fall.

  • Benoit Bekono is a New York area player out of the class of 2005 who is still available. An athletic 6-foot-6, 190 pound power forward from Our Savior New American in Centereach, New York, Bekono will head to West Virginia with the New York Elite for the Harley Davidson Classic, and he'll also be with that crew in Las Vegas for the Big Time Tournament.

    Bekono visited Hartford officially this spring, and had also received interest from schools like Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe.

  • Milan Prodanovic was a steady hand for Nate Cadogan's Team Odom bunch at the Summer Classic East. The heady lefthanded shooting guard from Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens was unselfish with the ball when we watched him and also showed his perimeter stroke.

    Prodanovic attended the Adidas Superstar Showcase last week. The 6-foot-0, 165 pounder had worked out for St. Francis (NY). His list of offers includes that NEC program, Boston University, Fairfield, Sacred Heart, Fairleigh Dickinson, Stony Brook while Davidson is on the verge of offering. The Davidson staff have been mainstays at his games this week. He's also received feelers from many Ivy and Patriot League programs.

  • It's mostly been high majors reeling in early commitments to date, but St. Francis (NY) got in the act this week when 6-foot-5, 185 pound small forward Rain Rickard gave Brian Nash and crew his pledge.

    Rickard handles and passes the ball well, and also boasts a strong body. The native of Queens was a top 20 all-star at the Eastern Invitational Camp last week, and also turned in a strong effort playing with New York Elite at the Summer Classic East.

  • It'd been a while since we last saw him, but 6-foot-8, 200 pound power forward Brendan Sullivan from New Canaan, Connecticut, continues to make strides in his game. Sullivan, who attended New Canaan High School, will do a postgraduate year at Northfield Mount Hermon in the fall.

    He's a face-up four man with a nice shooting touch out to about 17 feet. His shots weren't always falling at FDU, but we've seen him shoot it in the past. Brendan has a wiry frame, has improved his ballhandling a bit, and always gives an honest effort. He runs the floor well, is a decent athlete, and has a credible understanding of the game. He's going to have to get stronger for the next level, but coaches are intrigued with his upside. Sullivan is playing with the New Heights/Ravens team.

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