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RECRUITING / JEFF FELLENZER : Kentucky Coach Is Hoping to Get in Final Word With Artesia Basketball Standout

April 08, 1993|JEFF FELLENZER

It may be a long way from Bourbon Street and the Final Four in New Orleans, but for Kentucky basketball Coach Rick Pitino, nothing will be more important on April 22 than a banquet in Lakewood.

Pitino is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at Lakewood Artesia High's annual basketball awards presentation. Among the honored guests will be 6-foot-6 Charles O'Bannon, Artesia's All-American forward and a prime recruiting target of Kentucky.

Although the spring signing period for basketball players begins Wednesday, neither O'Bannon nor his heavily recruited teammate, 6-11 All-American center Avondre Jones, is expected to announce his college choice until a few days after the banquet. Thus, coaches from other schools that O'Bannon and Jones are considering also figure to be in the audience. For O'Bannon, that could mean Jim Harrick of UCLA, George Raveling of USC and Steve Fisher of Michigan. Along with UCLA, USC and Michigan, Jones' list also includes Arizona, Missouri and Louisiana State. The latter two schools entered the picture late, but each is hoping to see Jones on his final official campus recruiting visit.

Notes

The recruiting odyssey of Rialto Eisenhower standout defensive lineman Germaine Gray finally ended Thursday when Gray signed a letter of intent to attend USC. The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Gray, who said he had been "leaning to Arizona State" after originally giving an unwritten commitment to Florida State, signed with the Trojans after deciding that he wanted to stay closer to home so his family could see him play. He also considered UCLA. Gray had reconstructive surgery Jan. 29 to repair a partially torn ligament in his right knee and is expected to redshirt next season.

. . . . One of the country's outstanding forward prospects, 6-9 Jerald Honeycutt of Grambling, La., is scheduled to visit UCLA this weekend.

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