Tag:Milton Jennings
Posted on: August 14, 2008 6:11 pm

Henry, Orton highlight Nike team headed to Brazil

Nine high school basketball players left the United States today for Brazil, where they will compete against some of the top teams from South America on a Nike-sponsored trip. The Americans will visit three cities and play four games before returning next Saturday.

Here's a list of the participants:

(College situation is in parenthesis)

  • Avery Bradley (uncommitted)
  • Jamal Coombs-McDaniel (committed to Connecticut)
  • Keith Gallon (uncommitted)
  • Xavier Henry (uncommitted)
  • Milton Jennings (committed to Clemson)
  • Tommy Mason-Griffin (committed to Oklahoma)
  • Alex Oriakhi (committed to Connecticut)
  • Daniel Orton (uncommitted)
  • Phil Pressey (uncommitted)

Two of those players -- Jennings and Pressey -- were subjects of columns at CBSSports.com this week.

You can read those here and here.

Pressey is the only Class of 2010 prospect competing.

Everybody else is from the Class of 2009.

Also worth noting is that the group will be joined on the trip by Brazilian Anderson Varejao of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Posted on: August 14, 2008 2:30 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2008 2:33 pm

Purnell did a "beautiful job" recruiting Jennings

Milton Jennings, the subject of my latest column, didn't play serious organized basketball until eighth grade.

That's what you call a late start in this era of this sport.

But Oliver Purnell still had Jennings pegged early.

"Oliver told me when Milt was in the ninth grade that he didn't care what time of year it was or where it was, from that point forward he'd be wherever Milt was at on the first day of every recruiting period when coaches are allowed gyms," recalled Jennings' AAU coach, Rufus McDonald. "Oliver said he didn't care if it was 2006, 2007 or 2008 or what senior was coming out that particular year, he'd always open the period in whatever gym Milt was at. And guess what? Every recruiting period, Oliver opened in the gym with Milt. He kept his word and did a beautiful job recruiting him."

That's one of the stories I picked up while working on the column that didn't make the actual column. I'm sharing it here because it shows the importance of identifying priorities early and highlights how silly the notion of waiting to recruit kids until their junior or senior years can be. Anybody who waited that long to get on Jennings strarted well behind Clemson, thanks to Purnell and assistant Frank Smith. And because the Tigers worked so hard so early and they now have a commitment from a prospect who will likely become the school's first McDonald's All-American in 18 years.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com