Tue | Sep 22, 2020

Minott eager to work with Hardaway

Published:Saturday | August 15, 2020 | 12:16 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
In this file photo from November 1995, Orlando Magic’s Penny Hardaway (left) dunks over Washington Bullets’ Gheorghe Muresan in the first quarter of their NBA game in Landover, Maryland.
In this file photo from November 1995, Orlando Magic’s Penny Hardaway (left) dunks over Washington Bullets’ Gheorghe Muresan in the first quarter of their NBA game in Landover, Maryland.

The latest national basketball player to commit to an NCAA Division One school will be under the tutelage of a former NBA All Star.

Seventeen-year-old Josh Minott recently committed to the University of Memphis of the American Athletic Conference. He will be coached by former NBA player Penny Hardaway, who played 14 seasons in the league and is also a University of Memphis alumnus.

After a recruitment process that yielded 14 different scholarship offers, the 6’ 8” small forward was just happy to secure his collegiate basketball future.

“It feels good knowing that I don’t have to stress about recruiting anymore,” Minott told The Gleaner. “I made up my mind, and I felt that [Memphis] was the best opportunity for me. I really like the staff, and I really do believe in what they have for me.”

Recruiting SCHOOLS

Memphis, Baylor, the University of Texas, University of Maryland, and Florida State University were among the recruiting schools he had narrowed his choices down to. But Minott was swayed by the opportunity to work with Hardaway and ultimately decided to join the Memphis Tigers.

“It’s really cool to have an opportunity to play under such a successful NBA player,” he said. “He has had his success around my size and playing the position that I want to play and the playing style that I want to play. So I felt that one of the most attractive things about the University of Memphis is that someone who has been in my position and done it successfully [is here]. And I feel like it would be great to find out how he did it and really learn from someone like him.”

Minott has represented Jamaica at the international level, most recently at the FIBA Under-17 CentroBasket Championships last year in Puerto Rico. Although born and raised in Florida, he feels pride in being able to represent Jamaica in the sport and now to play in Division One basketball.

“It’s always good to represent my country,” he said. “My whole family is from there, and it’s always good to represent Jamaica any way I can.”

Among the other national players whom he joins in Division One this autumn are Jordan Kellier (University of Utah) and Lawrence Foreman (Rider University).

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com