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Tag:Amir Garrett
Posted on: December 20, 2011 8:56 pm
Edited on: December 20, 2011 10:57 pm

St. John's freshman Amir Garrett eligible

By Jeff Goodman

St. John's finally received some good news when Amir Garrett was cleared to play for the Red Storm. 

Garrett's father, Darrow Garrett, confirmed the news to on Tuesday night. 

The program has been without its head coach, Steve Lavin, for much of the season while he recovers from prostate surgery, its talented guard Nuri Lindsey decided to transfer and three recruits were deemed ineligible to play this season. 

Jakaar Sampson returned to prep school and Norvel Pelle favors UNLV - but Garrett, a two-sport star, has stuck with his pledge and his father said he could play as early as Wednesday night. 

"I'm happy he's now at St. John's and can play basketball," Garrett's father said. 

Garrett's father also said that the plan remains to play baseball in the Cincinnati Reds minor league system this summer. Garrett was selected in the 22nd round of the draft and received a bonus in excess of $1 million spread over five years. 

Posted on: November 19, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2011 12:55 pm

Garrett on track to enroll soon at St. John's

By Jeff Borzello

NEW HAVEN, CONN. – A lack of depth has hindered St. John’s in its first few games, but help could soon be on the way in the form of Amir Garrett.

Garrett, who originally committed to the Red Storm as part of their monster 2011 recruiting class, is still on track to enroll at St. John’s at the semester break. He is currently at Bridgton Academy, a prep school in Maine. 

"If you ask me, I'd say yes," head coach Whit Lesure said. "He's on track and there's no question about that."

"I just need to finish out this semester and submit my classes," Garrett added. "I should be good."

Garrett was one of three St. John’s signees ruled ineligible by the NCAA prior to the season, along with Norvel Pelle and Jakarr Sampson. Pelle and Sampson have both decommitted from the Red Storm, but Garrett is still solid in his pledge.

"I'm very anxious to get out there," he said. "Me and [St. John's signee] Darrick [Wood] pretend we're St. John's in practice." 

He should fit in well with St. John’s, giving Steve Lavin another perimeter playmaker to provide depth. The Red Storm have used seven players almost exclusively, with each of them averaging between 19.8 and 33.6 minutes per game.

Garrett, a 6-foot-6 lefty swingman, is a tremendous athlete who excels in transition and can play multiple positions on the perimeter. He is aggressive going to the rim and has the ability to find players off penetration.

"He's ultra-competitive," Lesure said. "He's a high-energy guy, and he's going to help with the way they use the full-court, spacing people out. You need people to put the ball in the basket."

Garrett said he won't redshirt when he arrives in Jamaica; he plans to play.

"I can't wait to get out there." 

Photo: SI

Posted on: September 16, 2011 10:10 am
Edited on: September 16, 2011 10:18 am

Someone tell Mullin and Wennington not to worry

By Jeff Goodman

By now, you probably know that St. John's hyped freshman class, the one that was ranked just behind Kentucky and Duke, took a significant hit on Thursday.

Three guys - all considered Top 100 players - didn't qualify to play this semester. Amir Garrett's father told that his son Amir, a two-sport star who intends to play minor league baseball in the summer, will take classes in the fall with the hope of suiting up for the Red Storm in December.

Norvel Pelle may do the same, but JaKarr Sampson - according to a source - is leaning towards heading back to prep school, where he could re-open his recruitment.

Now the Red Storm Nine are down to a half-dozen. Two of them are junior college kids, one is Chicago guard Phil Greene and the other three are highly regarded, consensus Top 100 high schoolers: Sir'Dominic Pointer, Maurice Harkless and D'Angelo Harrison.

Let's face it: St. John's was going to take their lumps this year, anyway.

Steve Lavin has already proven he can get players - and he'll continue to get them.

This was a setback, but I wouldn't push the panic button if I were, say, Chris Mullin, Mark Jackson, Bill Wennington or just an ordinary St. John's fan.

This season will be rough as the Red Storm will not only be young, but they'll also lack depth. That's a brutal combination in a league as unforgiving to inexperience as the Big East.

But there were only so many minutes, anyway, and now Pointer, Harkless and Harrison will gobble up the majority of them - instead of having to split them with the JUCO kids and also Sampson, Pelle and Garrett.

There's still a chance, at least according to Darrow Garrett, that his son and Pelle wind up in uniform for the second semester. Sampson is a big-time athlete and many have him ranked highest of the entire class, but he's still not a program-changer. He's a piece that would have certainly helped.

But The Johnnies will be fine. It's just going to take some time.
Posted on: September 15, 2011 5:58 pm

Plan remains the same for Amir Garrett

By Jeff Goodman

Amir Garrett’s plan remains the same.

Garrett, one of three St. John’s freshmen ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA on Thursday, still intends to play basketball for the Red Storm.

“He still has a chance,” Darrow Garrett, Amir’s father, said. “He will play at St. John’s in December. Mark my words.”

Garrett is a two-sport star who was selected in the 22nd round of the MLB draft this past June. He signed a contract with the Cincinnati Reds that included $1 million spread over five years.

Garrett’s father said the plan, if his son qualifies, would be to play with St. John’s in the spring and then play minor league baseball in the summer with the Reds. He also said Amir would take classes this semester in hopes of being cleared for the second semester.

“This time we’re going to be proactive with the NCAA,” Darrow Garrett said. “We’re going to get them everything they ask for as early as possible, but we’re optimistic everything will be taken care of and he will be able to play at St. John’s in December.”

Posted on: September 15, 2011 4:12 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2011 6:02 pm

Three St. John's freshmen ruled ineligible

By Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman

Remember that highly ranked recruiting class that had St. John's fans excited?

It's the same class that now has the same fans disappointed.

Class of 2011 signees Amir Garrett, Jakarr Sampson and Norvel Pelle have all been declared ineligible by the NCAA, St. John's confirmed Thursday. The school is still hoping to get the talented trio through the NCAA Clearinghouse in time for the second semester, but it remains undetermined whether that'll actually happen. Meantime, a source told on Thursday that Sampson, a 6-foot-7 wing, might now elect to return to where he played last season -- Brewster Academy.

Sampson and Garrett were both ranked in the Top 100 of's Class of 2011 rankings.

Sampson was No. 55. Garrett was No. 89.

Posted on: September 9, 2011 2:20 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 2:28 pm

Kansas frosh lead list of those still up-in-air

By Jeff Goodman

Kevin Ware wasn't the only one who was awaiting his fate.

Louisville's freshman failed to meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements. The school received the news on Friday and Ware, a 6-foot-4 wing from Georgia, will attempt to become eligible for the spring semester. has learned that there are several other high-profile players who are still making their way through the NCAA clearinghouse due to academic concerns:

- Kansas freshmen Ben McLemore, Jamari Taylor and Braeden Anderson

- Arizona State's prized point guard Jahii Carson

- Ohio State's LaQuinton Ross

- St. John's frosh Amir Garrett and Norvel Pelle

- Maryland late signee, Ukraine native Olexiy Len

- DePaul's Macari Brooks

Bill Self told reporters on Thursday that Ben McLemore, Jamari Taylor and Braeden Anderson - three of his freshmen - have not been cleared to play. McLemore and Taylor are allowed to attend class while Anderson isn't on campus.

McLemore and Taylor both attended three schools while Anderson, according to sources, is being scrutinized for non-traditional classwork in which he was home-schooled.

Seven of Steve Lavin's nine freshmen have been cleared, but according to sources, he's still waiting for the NCAA to clear Garrett and Pelle. Both players are Top 100 players and finished summer school last week.

Carson, a consensus Top 50 recruit nationally, was a huge coup for Herb Sendek and the Sun Devils and is expected to run the team from day one in Tempe. Carson attended Mountain Pointe and Mesa High in Arizona and has yet to be cleared by the NCAA.

Another player whose status is unclear is that of Ross, another Top 50 player. The Ohio State freshman spent his first two seasons of high school in his home-state of Mississippi before transferring to Life Center in New Jersey for his junior and senior campaign.

Len is a 7-foot-1 Ukrainian who is being researched by the NCAA, according to sources, due to his background overseas.

Two more players in's Top 100 didn't qualify: Chris Jones, who signed with Bruce Pearl's staff at Tennessee, is playing for former Vols assistant Steve Forbes in the junior college ranks at Northwest Florida State while Central Florida signee Michael Chandler is headed to prep school.

Brooks, a Chicago native who is a piece of Oliver Purnell's class that he is hopeful will help him rebuild the program, also attended multiple schools - including an alternative high school.

Notre Dame freshman Eric Katenda, who suffered a serious eye injury, still has not been cleared. However, Katenda is in no rush since the plan - according to a source - is for him to enroll for the second semester.
Posted on: June 8, 2011 12:41 pm

St. John's basketball signee will play two sports

Posted by Jeff Borzello

When Amir Garrett first burst onto the basketball scene in high school, the caveat that he also played baseball was always a factor. After all, he’s 6-foot-5 lefty, throws in the 90s and had baseball offers from schools like Loyola Marymount.

When he enrolled at basketball powerhouse Findlay Prep last fall, the baseball dream seemed to be over. Garrett eventually signed to play basketball at St. John’s and ended up as a top-75 recruit.

Last month, though, Garrett apparently worked out in front of a number of MLB scouts at the College of South Nevada and was impressive, according to’s Luke Winn. He reached 96 miles-per-hour on his fastball, which is even more eye-popping when you throw in the fact Garrett hadn’t thrown in a game since the USA Baseball’s Tournament of Stars in June 2010.

“It was absolutely the most bananas thing I’ve ever seen on a baseball diamond,” College of Southern Nevada pitching coach Nick Aiello told Jeff Eisenberg of The Dagger.

On Tuesday, Garrett was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 22<sup>nd</sup> round, with pick No. 685.

All along, most people thought Garrett might choose one or the other, basketball or baseball. Now, it looks like he’s going to try both.

“If he went high, it would have been one or the other,” Darrow Garrett, Amir’s father, told David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We love Steve Lavin, and I told everyone it would have taken a lot to just walk away from him. This way he can still play basketball at St. John’s and do the things he wants to be able to do.”

Garrett will play professional baseball in the Reds’ organization in the summers, and will suit for the Red Storm during the basketball season.

“Baseball is my first love,” Garrett said. “I put it on hold for a little bit, but I always had it in me.”

Based on potential, Garrett could have a more prosperous future playing baseball. Drawing comparisons to Tampa Bay Rays’ star David Price, his combination of size and velocity is not matched by many people in baseball.

As Aiello told Winn, Garrett is more likely to get noticed in baseball.

“There might be 100 players in the NCAA and NBA that can match his size and athleticism, whereas there might be five in the whole country in baseball,” he said. “I think he realizes that when he gets off the bus in A-ball, there won’t be anybody who looks like him."

Photo: ICON SMI 

Category: NCAAB
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