Press release says Christmas looking at Indiana

Rakeem Christmas, one of the better prospects in the class of 2011, announced today that he has trimmed his list to eight schools.

He did so via press release.

His high school coach Kevin Givens of Academy of the New Church in Bryn Athyn (Penn.) sent out the release:

Rakeem Christmas has had a long summer of outstanding performances at the most coveted basketball events. With the AAU basketball season drawing to a close, the nation’s “best defensive player” has garnered attention while playing for Team Final and also participating in individual camps including NBA Players Top 100, Rumble in the Bronx, Amar’e Stoudemire & Lebron James Skill Camps, Nike’s Peach Jam, Super Showcase and most recently Adidas Nations Global, in which he played for USA’s 2011 Team coached by Frank Johnson. Before wrapping up his summer events next week at Boost Mobile Elite 24 game at Rucker Park in New York, the rising junior and his family decided on the schools he plans on looking closely at for options of attendance in 2011. “It’s been a process, one that we wanted to make sure that the best choices were made for Rakeem,” said Amira Hamid, Christmas’ aunt and legal guardian. “He has been receiving scholarship offers since the 8th grade. With such an overwhelming number of schools interested in him, it was important that we did our due diligence with finalizing this list.” The universities that make up this list include: Baylor University, University of Florida, Georgetown University, Indiana University, Ohio State University, University of Oklahoma, University of Texas and Villanova University. “I appreciate the interest that many coaches have in me but these are the schools that my family and I think would be a good fit for me” Rakeem stated. “My family and I are thankful to everyone that has offered me a scholarship and participated in my recruiting. I’m looking forward to my season at ANC and playing for Coach Givens. I’ve played with some of the players during the summer and I had a good time. After summer is over I want to make sure that I do well and improve in class and on the court.”


  1. Is this a normal practice among elite recruits — disseminating press releases?

    Seems kind of unnecessary/pretentious, unless it’s not uncommon.

  2. No, it’s not very common.
    I suppose the argument for it is that all the various recruiting services/newspapers/blogs/TV stations can use the press release, and the kid does not have to give the same interview 5-10 times in a day.

  3. Hugh or Chris,
    What’s your take on how football and basketball utilize the scouting services? Are the scouting services considered very important, somewhat important, not important.
    So many people react when IU gets a recruit with low star ratings. I am curious, how important do the coaches consider the rankings?

  4. I wish Izzo would offer some of these high profile recruits. Barnes, Christmas,CJ Leslie,etc……..

  5. HoopsVader, I love your name, but you totally lost me with your post. Please explain; maybe I’m just missing the context, but I have no idea what Tom Izzo offering these recruits would mean to you.

    I don’t follow the recruiting rankings too closely; how is this player rated?? Size/weight??

  6. Between Christmas, Plumlee and Zeller you would think that we would land at least one big guy. I hope its more like two. We’ll need bigs in this class since 2010 doesn’t seem as promising for post players.

  7. Let me know when he has narrowed the list down to two or three; only then will I allow myself to care a little. And please IU, don’t go for Zellers or Plumlees…they think they are too good for Indiana…

  8. HuskyTom,

    Would you have wanted to play for Mike Davis or Kelvin Sampson? Would you have wanted your son playing for either of them?

    Also, if either commits, then he obviously wouldn’t think he’s too good for Indiana.

    There’s no reason to base your assessment of a player on what his older brothers did in the past. I’m sure you have a family member who’s participated in questionable or ill-advised behavior, and I’m sure you wouldn’t engage in the same behavior simply because he or she is your relative.

  9. Such terrible choices the older Zellers and Plumlees made: Great educations, great coaches, 20 win seasons and final fours! How dare they spurn the bad coach Davis and the slime ball Sampson! What fools (dws)!

    Seriously, its up to Indiana to return (and I think we will) to the place where we once were and compete at the highest level. Its not up to the kids to settle for less than they’ve earned.

  10. Zellers and Plumlees: glorified bench-warmers, riding the pine for 4 years until they finally graduate and become mid-level managers at car dealerships and hot dog companies. That’s my cynical opinion.
    If it’s just a coaching thing, as you have insisted, then they sure as heck should come to IU; Crean is a bonafide coach who is also a WASP like themselves; IU has a good business school so that they can develop their investment and managerial skills…If they choose not to come to IU once again, blame it on the fact that they read my posts on this blog…if they surprise us by choosing IU, you all will be vindicated (but don’t count on it).

  11. HuskyTom

    Yes, since they’re not going to the NBA, they’ll obviously work mediocre mid-level jobs, performing menial tasks in a life of discontent and unhappiness.

    If you’re not aware, every recruiting situation is “a coaching thing.” Who the player’s going to be taught by is kind of a big deal. I think both are more likely to choose IU than their brothers were because of Crean, but of course there are no guarantees.

    And if they really are useless like you say, then be glad they “think they’re too good” to come here.

    I just tend to trust Crean’s assessment of them — since he’s seen them play, and is a professional basketball coach.

    I guess we’ll just see what happens, like always. But often, the youngest brother in a family is the most talented. That may be the case here.

  12. Oh my, where to begin…. “Often, the youngest brother in a family is the most talented”… Hmmm, see Larry and Eddie Bird…. OK, now on to the bitter, cynical and un-happy Huskytommy. You must be a troll trying to scare the two kids away from IU. What? You’re afraid that your school will not be able to compete with IU if they get some talented big guys? Suggest you go back to your Mickey D job because you don’t know squat about Basketball talent.

    Zeller and Plumlee, if you read these things, true IU fans would love to have you. While Duke, NC, and ND are all great schools, think about being your own man and not under one of your bothers shadows. Good luck guys, no matter what your decision is.

  13. NintendoFan- What I’m scared about is IU recruiting a bunch of Shawn Bradley-esque cornfed christian whiteboys from huge sprawling families who light it up in high school, yet crumble when the pressure turns up a notch…kind of like everyone in the Plumblee and Zeller families so far… It isn’t some bigoted position that I am taking, believe it or not; it’s a position based on observation.. Give me Kyrie Irving, Christmas, Carlino, etc., but please, keep me away from Plumlees and Zellers…unless I need a good hot dog…wait, in that case, I’ll go to the Butcher’s Block; might as well go local and organic, shun the big corporate food producers who mass-produce chemical-filled cr*p at low prices

  14. NotanIdiotFan,

    If you’re going to insult someone’s intelligence, make sure you first understand the principles of correct spelling, capitalization, and proper punctuation.

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