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adidas Nations Friday High School Recap: Jeter’s decision, Brown and UCLA

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LONG BEACH, California — Action kicked off at the fifth annual adidas Nations on Friday as high school basketball players from around the world and college counselors from around America assembled for a four-day camp. With many of adidas’ talented grassroots players in attendance, the event is a great chance to evaluate high school players one more time before the summer ends.

Five-star big man Chase Jeter is planning on announcing his college decision on Monday while five-star small forward Jaylen Brown is still planning on unofficially visiting UCLA and remains undeterred by the recent flooding of Pauley Pavilion.

Chase Jeter has made a decision — Five-star Las Vegas native Chase Jeter will be one of the first dominoes to fall among big men in the 2015 class with his Monday night announcement during the adidas Nations telecast on ESPNU. The 6-foot-10 Jeter is down to four schools — Arizona, Duke, UCLA and UNLV — and his commitment will mean one of the many elite big men in class is finally off the board.

Jeter told NBCSports.com that he already made his decision last week and is just waiting until Monday to announce.

“I made my decision last week,” Jeter said. “I’m 100 percent positive in my decision and I feel comfortable. I talked about it with my family. They said I should go wherever I feel most comfortable and that’s what I did.”

Whichever school lands Jeter is getting one of the younger players in the 2015 class as Jeter doesn’t turn 17 until September.

Jaylen Brown (still) wants to visit UCLA, and Kentucky — Much has been made about five-star small forward Jaylen Brown’s scheduled unofficial visit to UCLA following adidas Nations. The Georgia native is well aware of the current condition of Pauley Pavilion after a water main broke on the UCLA campus late this week, but he still plans on seeing the campus and has found some of the Twitter exchanges surrounding his visit to be humorous.

“[The UCLA coaches] said that Pauley is down, but it’s alright. Everybody is tweeting me like it’s going to have some type of effect on my decision or something. It’s not. It’s fine,” Brown said of his scheduled UCLA visit. “Kentucky fans have been using that to their advantage. It’s hilarious. They’re like, ‘Come to Kentucky, we have clean locker rooms,’ and stuff like that, but the UCLA fans go back at them like, ‘We’ll have brand-new locker rooms by the time you get there,’ so it’s funny to see stuff like that.”

Brown told NBCSports.com that he’d like to take an official visit back to UCLA — if things go well — sometime in late September or early October. Kentucky will also get an unofficial visit in late August or early September with a follow-up official visit likely coming in October.

After Brown plays in the Elite 24 in August, he plans on forming a list of 10 schools and mentioned UCLA, Kentucky, Ohio State, Kansas, Duke, Florida, Texas A&M, Georgia Tech and Georgia as schools that are in the running at the current moment.

Munis Tutu has a solid opening night — The Canadian team that faced Brown and Jeter’s USA Howard team was very much overmatched on Friday night by 2015 point guard Munis Tutu had a really good outing in doing everything he could to keep his team in the game.

The 6-foot-1 Tutu plays for prep school power LaLumiere during the school year, so he’s already well-adjusted to American basketball, but the guard had a solid showing on Friday night as he changed paces and used his good first step and speed to get in the paint and make plays. Tutu also got up on one dunk that surprised many in attendance and he generally played very hard on the evening while playing well against Arizona commit Justin Simon and UConn commit Jalen Adams.

Tutu told NBCSports.com that he has current scholarship offers from Kent State, Detroit, Binghamton, UMass, Auburn and Charleston while Michigan State and Robert Morris have expressed interest.

A spring decision is likely to follow and Tutu will try to make official visits during the school year.

Seton Hall’s Derrick Gordon won’t pursue pro basketball to become a firefighter

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12:  Derrick Gordon #32 of the Seton Hall Pirates celebrates after hitting a basket against the Villanova Wildcats during the Big East Basketball Tournament Championship at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2016 in New York City. Seton Hall Pirates defeated Villanova Wildcats 69-67.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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After a successful career that included stops at Western Kentucky, UMass and Seton Hall, Derrick Gordon, Division I college basketball’s first openly gay player, will not pursue professional opportunities and will instead become a firefighter.

The 6-foot-3 Gordon averaged 8.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a senior for the Pirates, helping the team reach the NCAA tournament during his graduate transfer year. By making the NCAA tournament with Seton Hall this past season, Gordon became the first college basketball player to reach the event with three different teams.

A tenacious perimeter defender who could have earned a pro contract if he stuck with basketball, Gordon will instead pursue a career as a firefighter in San Francisco.

“I’ve had an amazing basketball career and want to thank everybody who has always been there supporting me every step on the way,” Gordon said via his Instagram. “But I’m making a change in my career…I will now be working towards becoming a San Francisco Firefighter!! I’m excited about this and looking forward to having a long career!!”

While Gordon likely would have never made the NBA on talent alone, his defensive prowess would have likely given him a shot overseas or in the D League. It’s hard to say why Gordon is making this decision, but given what we saw with all of the attention surrounding Michael Sam when he tried to play in the NFL, Gordon was probably going to face a lot of scrutiny wherever he decided to play.

Hopefully Gordon finds his calling as a firefighter and brings the same energy and leadership that he brought on the floor to helping other people outside of basketball.

Washington guard Markelle Fultz pulls off sick spin and dunk at FIBA U18 Americas

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Kelly Kline/Under Armour
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Washington incoming freshman guard Markelle Fultz is going to be one of the premier players in the country next season as his unique game is going to be fascinating to watch.

The 6-foot-5 Fultz is currently playing with the USA U18 team in Chile for the FIBA U18 Americas as he’s second on the team in scoring and first in assists as the Americans play Canada for the title on Saturday.

Against the host country, Fultz had an electric spin move in the paint and finished with an easy dunk. If you’re not willing to stay up late to watch this dude play this year, then set your DVRs, because Fultz is going to have some fun moments during the season.

(H/t: Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report)

POSTERIZED: Class of 2016 forward Chris Seeley has a massive dunk on defender

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The Las Vegas AAU events are all going on this week and it’s the final event for rising seniors.

At the Las Vegas Fab 48, forward Chris Seeley of the Splash City 17U team put down one of the best poster dunks of the summer as he skied over a defender for an emphatic finish.

The Class of 2016 forward attends Central High School in Fresno, California as he’s receiving plenty of buzz for his recent play.

 

 

 

Five-star forward Jarred Vanderbilt cuts list to nine

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LAS VEGAS, NV — Five-star Class of 2017 forward Jarred Vanderbilt has been one of the most sought-after recruits in the country since he was a freshman in high school.

The 6-foot-8 native of Houston is beginning to wind things down in the recruiting process as he cut his list to nine schools on Friday. Vanderbilt’s list includes some of the most storied programs in college basketball and plenty of schools from his home state of Texas.

“I just followed my heart. Went with the schools I liked the most and who I have the best relationships with. Thear were the schools I could see myself playing for,” Vanderbilt told NBCSports.com.

Regarded as the No. 13 overall prospect in the Rivals.com national rankings, Vanderbilt is currently recovering from a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot.

Vanderbilt will see a doctor in three-to-four weeks as he’s currently in a boot to help his foot heal.

Report: Michigan State and Penn State will play at the Palestra

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Head coach Patrick Chambers of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has previously expressed a desire to coach a game at the legendary Palestra in Philadelphia and it appears he’ll get his chance in a Big Ten game this season.

According to a report from Brendan F. Quinn of MLive, Penn State will use the Palestra as its home gym for the Jan. 7, 2017 Big Ten game against Michigan State. It is the only time the two teams are scheduled to play during Big Ten season and Penn’s home gym will offer a unique setting for the game.

Since the capacity of the Palestra is 8,722, it should make for a fun atmosphere for both programs since this will be a game both fan bases will likely want to attend.

With Nittany Lions head coach Pat Chambers making Philadelphia a major recruiting priority for his program, a game like this in Philadelphia makes sense while Michigan State has always been open to playing games in unique settings such as aircraft carriers.

The Palestra has been a college basketball mainstay since it was built in 1927 as it hosts all Penn home games and, in the past, hosted a lot of Big 5 Philadelphia college games between La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Villanova.

Overall, a fun idea that should make for an interesting experience for both programs. It’s not often that a team will change its home venue for a conference game, but it could be the start of something we see other schools look to do.