Shabazz Napier Picks UConn, Attempting to Reclassify

by Alex Schwartz

Yesterday evening, 5'11 point guard Shabazz Napier of Lawrence Academy (MA) gave a verbal commitment to the UConn Huskies, according to a source close to the situation.

Napier saw his stock rise over the summer after his play on the AAU circuit with Metro Boston. It continued to shoot up during the high school season as he led his team to a 29-0 record and a NEPSAC Class C championship. Soon enough, Napier had numerous high-major offers.

Currently in the class of 2011, Napier is attempting to reclassify back to the class 2010 so that he could enroll at UConn for this year. "Yes, he's going to be '10," said the source, who preferred to remain anonymous so as to keep the story about Napier. "[He has] to do some work at school, but yes, that's what it looks like."

The source said the talented point guard selected UConn over Arizona State, Florida, and Alabama, but he never had a specific set of finalists due to the way the classification situation occured.

"It sort of happened real quick, the 2010 thing, so it didn't get to a place where it was like that. It's a complicated situation."

What makes it complicated? "We still haven't even had a the convo with anyone at [Lawrence Academy] about having him graduate this year. He has everything he needs, but again, it's a different situation."

Asked how Napier selected the Big East power, the source replied, "Jim Calhoun baby, the guy coaches lottery picks." He went on to add, "Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and Alex Oriakhi are very good friends of his." Coombs-McDaniel and Oriakhi were freshman at UConn this past season after graduating from Tilton School (NH).

Jim Calhoun's health has been a topic of late, and while it came up in discussion, it was not major and was not something Napier himself as concerned with. "Yes it was an issue. I asked the question and they said he felt great and planned on coaching. I'm not sure it was an issue for Shabazz."

If he remains in the class of 2011, Napier would be the second member of UConn's class, joining Forest Hills (NY) small forward Maurice Harkless.

If he does indeed become a member of the class of 2010, Napier would be part of a five-man class, filling all five positions, along with Oak Hill Academy (VA) small forward Roscoe Smith, Norcross (GA) shooting guard Jeremy Lamb, Tyner Academy (TN) center Michael Bradley, and EO Smith (CT) power forward Tyler Olander. Smith is ranked #35 in Northstar Basketball's Class of 2010 Terrific 125, while Lamb is #49.

Once again, Shabazz Napier of Lawrence Academy has committed to UConn and will attempt to become part of the class of 2010.

Note- used as a source for information; photo is from

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