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joeb
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« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2009, 10:26:14 am »

yeah i read it again and it still says the same thing Grin

also remember he still has another prep year
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« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2009, 10:44:49 am »

In Sports Wire on P. 65 of today's Daily News it states, "Jefferson forward Joel Wright announced a verbal committment to Fordham University."  For confirmation we'll have too wait for an official announcement from either FU, usually slow in coming, or from Wright or his coach. 
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« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2009, 11:31:46 am »

yeah i read it again and it still says the same thing Grin

also remember he still has another prep year

I think this is the best case scenario for when he will come in. Jio and the other guards will be well seasoned as Juniors and Gaston, Brown, and Freeman will have a year under there belt. 2010-11 and 11-12 could be real interesting if this is true.

As mentioned in another thread I think the best thing to do is try and lock up Funches for next year to get some experience in the frontcourt for next year but with only a 2 year commitment.
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« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2009, 12:01:40 pm »

Joel Wright will announce his decision at 230 on http://www.zagsblog.com/.
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« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2009, 12:12:54 pm »

Jared Grasso and DW have done a great job with this kid.  He's regarded as the best junior in nyc.  Don't be surprised if he ends up at New Hampton Prep next season.  The future is a lot brighter for this.

Derrick Williams, are you listening?
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« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2009, 12:43:50 pm »

Joel Wright has offers from Providence, West Virginia and St. John’s, plus Seton Hall was coming after him hard.
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« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2009, 12:54:38 pm »

This is terrific news for Fordham Basketball. Great job by the coaching staff getting commitments from these superior talents, well in advance of their senior years. I remember the days when the deadline for commitments would come and go with out any news.

That said I cautious when I hear abotu a highschool player with a nickname
(but that's just because I'm a Fordham fan)
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« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2009, 12:56:26 pm »

NYC Hoops had Joel Wright ranked #4 among all NYC juniors. But that was as of 11/08 and he would have moved up based on his performance since that time. The guys ahead of him are Big East/ACC recruits.

This would be an amazing recruiting success by Jared and DW.
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« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2009, 12:56:31 pm »

This is a pretty remarkable 24 hours all things considered---great win last night and now this.  I'd probably consider him the 2nd best junior in the city behind Jayvaughn Pinkston from Bishop Loughlin, but he's got a higher ceiling considering he's only been playing basketball for about 4 years.  I can't wait to watch the commitment, and again, Jared Grasso is an exceptional recruiter---I can't say enough about the guy.  Joel has has a 2011 teammate named  Davontay Grace (PG) who I wouldn't mind Jared targeting next...
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« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2009, 01:04:09 pm »

This is getting interesting.  Anybody know how he projects academically?  Will he be a qualifier? If we can get Williams too, the roster will be a thing of beauty.  Hats off to the staff, esp. JG.  I'd also say that we need to acknowledge how the signing of Jio has had a snowballing effect.  Talent attracts talent.
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« Reply #40 on: January 29, 2009, 01:15:03 pm »

This is a pretty remarkable 24 hours all things considered---great win last night and now this.  I'd probably consider him the 2nd best junior in the city behind Jayvaughn Pinkston from Bishop Loughlin, but he's got a higher ceiling considering he's only been playing basketball for about 4 years.  I can't wait to watch the commitment, and again, Jared Grasso is an exceptional recruiter---I can't say enough about the guy.  Joel has has a 2011 teammate named  Davontay Grace (PG) who I wouldn't mind Jared targeting next...

I think Davontay Grace will end up at St. John's.  At least that's what he's been indicating.  Norm Roberts at St. John's not getting Joel Wright is a serious blow for them - they wanted him.
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« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2009, 01:16:38 pm »

This is getting interesting.  Anybody know how he projects academically?  Will he be a qualifier? If we can get Williams too, the roster will be a thing of beauty.  Hats off to the staff, esp. JG.  I'd also say that we need to acknowledge how the signing of Jio has had a snowballing effect.  Talent attracts talent.

Joel Wright is a good student.  He is a bright kid.  He will be prepping to make sure he can do college level work. 
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« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2009, 01:28:22 pm »

I read Joel is only a junior at Thomas Jefferson, but he is too old to play his senior year at a NYC Public school so will do his senior year is prep school!!

This is a big, big time steal for us!! Great job by Grasso! We havent had this many high level recruits in consecutive years in a long time.
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« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2009, 01:44:24 pm »

By Zachary Braziller
December 25, 2008

Joel (Air Jamaica) Wright stands 6-foot-6, a leaping dynamo who is one of the top forwards in the tri-state area, averaging 21 points and 17 rebounds per game. He is being courted by a bevy of Big East schools, especially West Virginia. He has started all three years at Thomas Jefferson, one reason the Orange Wave is three-time defending champion Lincoln’s greatest hurdle for a record fourth straight crown.

These are all impressive accolades, made that much more stunning considering Wright started playing organized basketball in the eighth grade. He migrated to Brooklyn from Kingston, Jamaica five years ago, at the age of 12. He never played organized sports of any kind back home. He occasionally kicked around a soccer ball and messed around in other sports.

That changed when he came to America and attended Middle School 61. Constantine Jean-Pierre, an assistant coach at Lincoln and the basketball coach at 61, spotted Wright and offered him an invitation to tryout. He quickly stuck, immediately becoming the team’s best player. A quick growth spurt – Wright grew five inches, from 5-foot-11 to 6-foot-4 – encouraged him to put everything into the new sport.

“I saw something special in him,” Pierre said. “He had athletic abilities the normal kid just didn’t have. He had a nose for the ball, he was an excellent rebounder.”

Said Wright: “Basketball is the heart of American culture, so I had no choice. I got taller and knew there were opportunities.”

The summer after eighth grade, he won a national AAU championship with the Kimani Young-coached S. Carter All-Stars, teaming with such standouts as Jayvaughn Pinkston (Bishop Loughlin) and Dashaun Wiggins (Wings Academy).

Wright quickly grasped the game, understanding how to use his size and athleticism. He struggled with lay-ups at first, rarely using the backboard. Eventually, by the end of eighth grade, thanks to his hard work with Young and Pierre that strengthened his legs, he started dunking, which eliminated the problem and garnered him the nickname Air Jamaica.

He got over his newness to the sport by his relentless work ethic. As a freshman at Jefferson, he wasn’t expected to receive much playing time. The Orange Wave had several older, more experienced players, kids that had spent years playing AAU basketball.

But Wright, coach Lawrence Pollard said, had an extra gear. He was first in just about every drill, whether it was running wind sprints, shooting drills or rebounding. Pollard said Wright forced the coaching staff to notice him.

“He wanted to be the best at everything we did,” Pollard said. “He was 100 percent 100 percent of the time.”

Once he got that starting spot, it only motivated Wright, Pollard said. This summer he injured his knee, yet the Jamaica native never missed a practice, although it was always as an observer. On the weekends, he would meet Pollard at the Jefferson gym, often waiting outside for the coach. Pollard has a saying he tells his players: “Rest when you’re dead.” Wright often repeats it.

“He’s always trying to find something to improve on,” Pollard said. “He never takes a day off.”

He is ultra competitive, prone to crying, Pierre said, after losses and working that much harder to get better and prevent himself from facing defeat again.

“He kills himself at the gym,” Pierre said.

It is the reason he has gotten better every year, a player Pollard calls the best forward in the city. It is why West Virginia, Villanova, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Rutgers are hot on the gifted junior’s trail.

Wright found it amusing when the recruiting began, strangers calling and approaching him. He has gotten used to the attention, even savoring it now. 

“I’ve worked hard all my life,” he said. “I think I deserve it.”

For now, he is concentrating on the season, on beating Lincoln. Pierre was disappointed when Wright chose Jefferson instead of the Coney Island school, where he was hoping to steer him. But it also proved that Wright was his own man, that he could make his own choices.

Life at Jefferson isn’t bad anyway. Wright has an 80 average and is nearing a college scholarship. He has two fine coaches – Pollard and Seldon Jefferson, who Wright has called his basketball mentor – and a fine team around him, stars like Keith Spellman and Davontay Grace.

“I feel so proud of him,” his mother, Diana Wilson, said. “It’s really amazing.”

Wright is still a bit surprised by his stardom. He still finds it odd when children or grown men approach him after games, people he doesn’t know, waxing poetic about his skills. When he first started playing basketball, he didn’t expect this.

“I just thought I was gonna play in the eighth grade,” he said. “It seems like yesterday I was in ninth grade; now I’m close to going to college.”

But he kept on going, working harder and learning more of the sport each day, adding to his repertoire. There is still a lot to learn. Wright can get too hyped up for big games, therefore getting into foul trouble. His ball handling has come a long way – he can lead the break and handle the press if needed – but it is still a weakness. Pollard would like him to add more range to his jumper, a soft, feathery shot that has improved. And he still struggles with lay-ups; in an 87-83 loss to Lincoln last week, he missed a game-tying shot in the final seconds.

“I’m gonna go work on it now,” he said.
 
And just like that Wright was gone, off to a local gym to practice some more.
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« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2009, 01:48:29 pm »

A verbal commit is more than halfway home, and we need all of the prospective good news we can get, but until they sign on the dotted line, one never knows.
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« Reply #45 on: January 29, 2009, 01:56:11 pm »

Great Success!!!
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« Reply #46 on: January 29, 2009, 02:16:33 pm »

Great news on Wright.  What's the story for next year's incoming class?  Is there another ship still available in addition to Brown, Gaston, and Freeman?  At the risk of repeating what it seems is echoed on this board every year, it seems like the team needs another rebounder (even with the addition of those 3 and presumably Gordon).  I'd love to see the team add a wide body JUCO or overseas kid who can step in and provide 6 pts and 7-8 rebs a game. 
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« Reply #47 on: January 29, 2009, 02:19:08 pm »

Video posted on Zagsblog.com

http://www.zagsblog.com/

Air Jamaica Welcome to Fordham Mon Smiley.
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« Reply #48 on: January 29, 2009, 02:31:02 pm »

Imagine Jio running the fast break with Gaston to his left and Wright to his right. All he has to do is just toss it up!
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« Reply #49 on: January 29, 2009, 02:32:22 pm »

Welcome to Fordham Joel and good luck in your remaining High School career.  We are looking forward to seeing you at Rose Hill.

From the interview he seems like a nice young man, confident and realistic about his abilities and our program.

This is a real coup for Jared Grosso and DW getting a commitment form one of the best players in one of the best HS leagues in the country.

Can't forget Jio either, he seems to know how to work his contacts and get his friends intersted in coming to Rose Hill

Only thing left open is Joel's immediate future and when he will arrive at Fordham, was nto addressed the interview.

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« Reply #50 on: January 29, 2009, 02:34:04 pm »

Congrats on getting Air Jamaica.

Its hard to not be excited for our future.
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« Reply #51 on: January 29, 2009, 02:38:21 pm »

Great news on Wright.  What's the story for next year's incoming class?  Is there another ship still available in addition to Brown, Gaston, and Freeman?  At the risk of repeating what it seems is echoed on this board every year, it seems like the team needs another rebounder (even with the addition of those 3 and presumably Gordon).  I'd love to see the team add a wide body JUCO or overseas kid who can step in and provide 6 pts and 7-8 rebs a game. 

We will have 12 Scholarship players on the Roster next year if you don't include Munson.

Seniors

Herb Tanner

Juniors

Brenton Butler
Jacob Green
Mike Moore

Sophomores

Jio Fontan
Alberto Estwick
Trey Blue
Lamar Thomas

Frosh

Khiry Gordon
Chris Gaston
Lance Brown
Brian Freeman

That leaves us with one scholarship. I think the worst thing to do would be to use it on another Frosh. The problem we run into if we use it on a JUCO like Charles Funches for next year is that then we don't have another Scholie open to offer a current Junior in Joel Wright's class. If you have been following the posts on this board that Scholie would hopefully be earmarked for Derrick Williams. this is all assuming that Butler will be redshirting this year and still has 2 years eligibility.

I say that we hold off and try to use that Ship on D. Williams in 2 years. Sure we are going to be a little thin up front next year but hopefully  Green, Thomas, Gordon, Gaston, and Freeman can rebound enough for us to get by. In 2 years when we add Williams or another competent Big man to go along with Wright  we should be able to start doing some real damage.

Also I would say that we start targeting PG's right now for the year when Butler, Moore and Green will be graduating. This will give the new PG one year under Jio to learn and be ready to take over with lots of upperclassmen tools (Gaston, Brown, Gordon, Freeman, Joel Wright, Derrick Williams?)around him when he is a Soph.  




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« Reply #52 on: January 29, 2009, 02:49:45 pm »

Joel Wright will prep a year before he arrives at Fordham in 2010.  He was also being heavily recruited by Villanova.  Again, congrats to DW, Jared Grasso and the staff for landing a big fish.  Some good quotes from Joel in the SNY report:

"I can help turn the program around with my athleticism.  I like to run and I know Jio and Lance do too."

"Lance(Brown) is like my brother."

On why he decided on Fordham:

"The coaching staff really loved me.  I've known coaches Whittenburg and Grasso for a long time.  It is a family experience - they made me feel like I'll be in good hands and my mom and my girlfriend can watch me play."
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« Reply #53 on: January 29, 2009, 02:58:07 pm »

http://web.sny.tv/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090129&content_id=1489568&oid=temp&vkey=45

Wright makes his choice   


NEW YORK -- Joel "Air Jamaica" Wright made his college announcement Thursday afternoon in the SNY studios in Midtown Manhattan.
"The school I will be going to will be Fordham University up in the Bronx. I'm staying local," said the 6-foot-6, 208-pound Wright, a junior forward at Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn.

Wright, whose team competed last weekend in the SNY Invitational at New York University, is averaging 25 points and 19 rebounds for the Orange Wave. He poured in 56 points and grabbed 29 rebounds in a win over Grady.

Wright chose Fordham (3-15, 1-5 Atlantic 10 Conference) over offers from Big East schools Providence, West Virginia and St. John's. He also had interest from Seton Hall and Villanova. He won't be eligible to sign a national letter of intent until November, and will enroll at Fordham in the fall of 2010.

"I had a lot of offers from the rest of the schools, but I had a discussion with my coaches," Wright said. "The rest of the schools that gave me offers liked me, and Fordham really loved me. They showed me that they loved me and they were ready for me to come there, so that's why I picked Fordham."

Wright said he enjoyed strong relationships with Fordham head coach Dereck Whittenburg and assistant coach Jared Grasso, the lead recruiter for Wright. Whittenburg also coached Thomas Jefferson assistant Seldon Jefferson when they were both at West Virginia.

"I've known them for a long time but once I met them they really brought a family experience to me," Wright said. "They really made me feel like I was at home."

"I'm just happy for him," Jefferson coach Lawrence Pollard said in a phone interview. "I guess Fordham really made him feel that they loved him. At the end of the day, the kid's happy. That's what it's all about."

And where does the "Air Jamaica" nickname come from?

"That nickname came from back in the eighth grade," Wright said. "After I worked hard my whole eighth grade and seventh grade year, I played in a tournament. I was able to jump out of the building in the tournament. The rims weren't that big but they knew I was Jamaican. And they give me the name 'Air Jamaica' and I lived up to the name ever since that happened."

Wright hopes to play the small forward and power forward positions at Fordham when he arrives.

"I'm just going there to work hard at Fordham," he said. "I know they need the help, so I'm definitely going there to work hard, work the hardest. I'm going to fill in wherever they want me, be respectful and just have nice college years."

Tom Konchalski, the Queens-based recruiting expert, says Wright is an "athletic" player with a strong upside.

"He's a very athletic kid, the way his name indicates," Konchalski said. "He's not a fully developed perimeter player. He's got to flush out his skill set. He's got to be able to put the ball on the floor to make a play for himself or somebody else.

"He's got the wingspan of a condor. He's the kind of athlete that Fordham needs in order to be competitive in the Atlantic 10. [Freshman point guard] Jio [Fontan] is obviously going to be cornerstone of their program. The Lance Browns and the Chris Gastons give them more athleticism than they've had and the kind of athleticism they'll need to compete in the league."

Brown, a senior wing from Paterson (N.J.) Catholic, and Gaston, a forward from New Jersey who is prepping at New Hampton (N.H.), were also recruited by Grasso for next year.

Wright is looking forward to playing with them.

"I feel I can help turn the program around big-time," he said. "Go there with my athleticism and the way I jump and the way I could work hard. I know Lance, I know Jio, I know how all those guys play. I know Jio likes to run, so I'm in that running spirit, too.

"That's where I get most of my points from, running the floor. I get along with them fine, so I knew it was a good home."
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« Reply #54 on: January 29, 2009, 03:04:58 pm »

If I'm Derrick Williams I have to look at this commitment and say, OK, these guys are going to be the real deal.  I'm in.  It's interesting how signing good players plays into signing more good players.  Nice job by Jared and DW in playing the relationships between these recruits.  They're all friends already.  By the way, Derrick Williams is a good friend of Jio and Chris Gaston.

Could Mr. Williams be next?  Stay tuned......
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« Reply #55 on: January 29, 2009, 03:15:18 pm »

If I'm Derrick Williams I have to look at this commitment and say, OK, these guys are going to be the real deal.  I'm in.  It's interesting how signing good players plays into signing more good players.  Nice job by Jared and DW in playing the relationships between these recruits.  They're all friends already.  By the way, Derrick Williams is a good friend of Jio and Chris Gaston.

Could Mr. Williams be next?  Stay tuned......

Rambacker am I correct in my post above about the scholarship situation. We need to hold the extra scholie for 2010 in order to sign Williams right? If my assumption was correct and we signed Funches then we would not have an available scholarship to sign Williams with.
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« Reply #56 on: January 29, 2009, 05:10:32 pm »

Rambacker am I correct in my post above about the scholarship situation. We need to hold the extra scholie for 2010 in order to sign Williams right? If my assumption was correct and we signed Funches then we would not have an available scholarship to sign Williams with.

That seems right, without spending much time reviewing it.  We have a legitimate shot to sign Derrick Williams.  If we sign him, we're off to the races, but we still have the serious athletic department management problems.  That is a situation that must be resolved.
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« Reply #57 on: January 29, 2009, 11:02:19 pm »

OK, I'm as excited as the next guy about Air Jamaica, but I do worry about the lack of beef up front. we desperately need a big man/rebounder, and if we dont get one for 2010 (assuming we dont use another 'ship for '09) I dont think we'll go far. I'd rather se us NOT redshirt Butler this year so that we can free up that schollie. Also, am a little concerned about equal playing time for Gaston and Wright. Don't they in essence play the same position? Wright may have a lot of upside, but my hunch is Gaston will have more of an impact.
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« Reply #58 on: January 29, 2009, 11:10:42 pm »

OK, I'm as excited as the next guy about Air Jamaica, but I do worry about the lack of beef up front. we desperately need a big man/rebounder, and if we dont get one for 2010 (assuming we dont use another 'ship for '09) I dont think we'll go far. I'd rather se us NOT redshirt Butler this year so that we can free up that schollie. Also, am a little concerned about equal playing time for Gaston and Wright. Don't they in essence play the same position? Wright may have a lot of upside, but my hunch is Gaston will have more of an impact.


Gaston and Wright will play together.  They both play the 3 and 4.  In the A-10, there is not much difference.  Those two combined with Derrick Williams and Jacob Green will make for a very tough frontcourt.  This is how Xavier built their program.
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« Reply #59 on: January 29, 2009, 11:59:04 pm »

Gaston and Wright will play together.  They both play the 3 and 4.  In the A-10, there is not much difference.  Those two combined with Derrick Williams and Jacob Green will make for a very tough frontcourt.  This is how Xavier built their program.

What are your thoughts on Gordon and Thomas? 
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