Friday, July 07, 2006

O.J. Mayo Circus Comes to Town

The big question entering the first day of the Reebok ABCD Camp at Fairleigh Dickinson was whether O.J. Mayo, the consensus No. 1 player in the Class of 2007, would formally announce he is heading to play at USC next year. ESPN had reported on Wednesday night that Mayo had committed to Southern Cal during a visit last week. As it turned out, Mayo told a small group of reporters during the morning session, including the Herald News and Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports, that USC is his "first" choice, but that Kansas State and Florida were still in the mix. Mayo indicated he might formally commit today.
"I just think it's a great opportunity," Mayo, a native of West Virginia who now plays high school ball in Cincinnati, said on Thursday. "USC is a great campus; they have great alumni and I think it will be easy to get players out there for help. L.A. is a great town and it's a pro city."

Later, at his press conference, Mayo didn't answer any questions about colleges, making the event pretty anticlimactic.

In the third installment of our five-part series, the Herald News examines how a bidding war between Nike and Reebok for Mayo's services is likely to emerge as he approaches the 2008 NBA Draft. Experts say Mayo could command $5-10 million per year on the sneaker deal, but $20-25 million when you factor in all of his potential endorsements. Meanwhile, Steve Politi of The Star-Ledger wrote a column examining the competition between USA Basketball and the sneaker camps to attract the best talent, and how the sneaker camps are winning.

Art Stapleton of The Record wrote a feature on Rutgers coach Fred Hill and Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez and how they are approaching the summer recruiting period in their first year as coaches. Jerry Carino of the Courier News profiles Idris Hilliard of The Hun School and Hamidu Rahman, who are being courted by the two NJ state schools.

1 comment:

Lachlan said...

Nice to see Idris getting some press. I believe he's leaning towards Marquette, that's what I hear from a good friend who I use to play against in Europe. They played together at Hun last year.