Skal Labissiere is one of the most talented front court prospects in all of basketball, a mobile, agile, 6-foot-11 center with athleticism and enough skill to shoot threes and beat defenders off the dribble.
But his high school career and college recruitment has become an abject disaster. It seems like we’re hearing a story a week about how much Gerald Hamilton, Labissiere’s guardian, has mucked this up, but Wednesday’s report from Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com takes the cake.
A few examples?
- Parrish got Keith Easterwood, a prominent Memphis AAU coach, to say, on the record, that Hamilton asked him “How can I make money off of a basketball player?”
- One coach told Parrish his program “couldn’t even get in the door” because they weren’t going to provide assistance to the Reach Your Dream foundation that Hamilton established.
- There has only been one kid other than Labissiere in the Reach Your Dream program, and since he wasn’t a Division I athlete, Hamilton shipped him off to Boston by putting him on an overnight bus.
- The NCAA is already looking into Labissiere’s recruitiment.
Its a sad situation, one that has put Labissiere in a position where he may be forced to skip college altogether. Might he follow Emmanuel Mudiay to China? Will he end up playing professionally elsewhere? Labissiere has already seen his high school eligibility get taken away by a transfer prior to his senior season. If he does go to college, will he be forced to sit out then as well? If he does, that will be essentially the third straight year where Labissiere will not be playing basketball. He missed most of his junior season due to a back injury, and unless Reach Your Dream Prep actually becomes a team — one with, you know, players other than Labissiere — he won’t be playing this season.
Whatever the case, it’s looking more and more likely that we’ll never see Labissiere on a college campus regardless of where he ends up committing on Thursday.
Regardless, this is what Skal had to say after the report: