Preston Mattingly was a first round pick of the LA Dodgers in 2006, but his baseball career never looked anything like his dad’s.
He never made it out of A ball.
So the 26 year old Mattingly is starting over, having committed to play college basketball for Pat Knight at Lamar in the Southland Conference.
The 6-foot-3 Mattingly averaged 21 points as a senior in HS at Evansville Central (IN), and says that he was a better hooper than he was a baseball player.
“Basketball came naturally for me,” Mattingly told the LA Times. “Baseball, it took me a while to learn how to do stuff. Being an Indiana kid, you grow up, all you do is play basketball.”
So how did he manage to latch on with Lamar? From the Times:
Mattingly returned to his native Indiana a few months ago and started working out with Brent Chitty, his former coach at Evansville Central High. Chitty called another of his former players, Pat Knight, and told him he had a player for him.
Mattingly visited Lamar and was offered a scholarship.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.
The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.
But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.