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  • Somebody tell me this is a May fool's joke

    California 8th grader commits to Kentucky

    By Jody Demling
    [email protected]

    Michael Avery isn’t sure where he’ll attend high school next fall, but he’s already decided that he’ll attend the University of Kentucky for college.

    But that will have to wait a few years.

    The 6-foot-4 Avery, who is finishing eighth grade in Encino, Calif., has giving UK coach Billy Gillispie a verbal commitment, his father, Howard, confirmed today.

    “We’re very flattered and excited that Michael will have the opportunity to one day play at Kentucky,” Howard Avery said in a phone interview with The Courier-Journal. “After going through the thought process and talking to a lot of people, when you have a program like Kentucky wanting you, there’s not any better. They have a coach that appreciates what my son can offer. What else can you look for?”

    The elder Avery, who has a law practice in California, said his son has always had a goal to play at one of the nation’s elite college basketball programs.

    And he said the family thought about the early commitment, “absolutely we did,” but decided it was best to go ahead and make the decision.

    “Kentucky has always been one of those dream schools, like Duke and North Carolina,” he said. “Kentucky is crazy about basketball. Basketball is through and through there, the school, the town, the whole state.

    “Here we have USC and UCLA and they have great programs. But this is not a basketball town. You can’t beat Kentucky.” national analyst Dave Telep said he has not seen the younger Avery play and warned that with early commitments, “Everything can change.”

    The trend in college basketball is for schools to take commitments from younger players. Last summer, Aurora (Ill.) guard Ryan Boatright – a member of the Class of 2011 – committed to USC as an eighth grader.

    Two players from the 2011 class already have announced their intentions, and 23 of The Hoop Scoop’s top 250 from the ‘10 class have already decided on a college. The Hoop Scoop has Avery ranked No. 45 in the ’12 class.

    “Generally speaking, college basketball has turned our calendar up so fast that we have created this idea that you have to get these commitments,” Telep said. “And across the board — low-major and high-major — schools are trying to get (younger) commitments. I think no matter if you are Utah State or North Carolina you feel the pressure of this urgency to get commitments and if we’re not careful it’s going to hurt our game.”

    Howard Avery said the courtship of his son by UK happened fast. He traveled to Culver (Ind.) Academy recently to check out the school and while on the visit, Michael was invited to play with the Indiana Elite team last weekend in Akron, Ohio.

    In the event, Gillispie watched the younger Avery and word got around that he liked his game. Howard Avery called the UK coach and he offered a scholarship.

    “We were not interested in 200 different scholarship offers,” the father said. “We just wanted one good one and a good coach and that came through, so we made the decision. We thought about it a lot.

    “It’s always been his dream school to play for. If it were any other school, then we might not have ended up with the same result.”

    Avery will attend either Culver or Encino (Calf.) Crespi Carmelite next fall.
    Last edited by tallahassee blues fan; 05-01-2008, 07:40 PM.
    June 9, 1973 - The day athletic perfection was defined.

  • #2
    it must be nice for his parents to already be counting the money


    • #3
      Remember Damon Bailey?