St. John's head coach Steve Lavin hasn't let up in his quest to become the best college basketball recruiter in the nation. Yesterday, Ricardo Gathers of Reserve, La., who was named 2011 Louisiana Mr. Basketball, gave a verbal commitment to play for the Red Storm.
Gathers, a 6-foot-7, 240 pound power forward whom his AAU coach, Scooter Owens, called a cross between Charles Barkley and Karl Malone, chose the Red Storm over LSU, Baylor, Oregon, Kansas, Syracuse, California and Connecticut.
The four-star recruit led his team, the Rebels, to their second straight Class A State Championship and has numerous videos on YouTube highlighting his thunderous slams. Gathers has been called the most powerful dunker in high school.
Gathers is a man among boys. He averaged 20.7 points, 16.2 rebounds and 3.9 blocked shots last season.
Lavin scored a big-time coup in getting the agreement from the highly-recruited Gathers. The St. John's head coach, who is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, had the third-ranked recruiting class for the upcoming season. Gathers is another major coup for Lavin in only his second year in New York.
"I picked St. John's because of the coaching staff," said Gathers. "I liked the way coach Lavin communicated with me throughout the process."
The senior broke a lot of hearts when he didn't pick local school LSU.
"I can't wait to play in New York," said Gathers. "Watching the movie 'He Got Game' got me really excited about playing there."
Maybe Lavin should send videos of the Spike Lee to all future recruits.