Monday, June 18, 2012

How Phil Nolan Wound Up at UConn

So Kevin Ollie and Ray Allen walk into a restaurant, and ... well, sorry, no punch line here. The result, however (in a very, very, very roundabout way, some 10 years later) is Phil Nolan's commitment to UConn.

Confused? Well, read my story on Nolan, the 6-foot-11 lefthander who'll be arriving at Storrs in about a week. Nolan went to four high schools in four years and struggled academically in Huntington Prep's rigorous  academic environment. But he's got his academics in order and is a soft-spoken, impressive young man, according to all who know him.

Nolan has battled some negative perceptions over the past few years, but Ollie (whose friendship with Trevor Trimble, stepfather of UNC-bound J.P. Tokoto, was a big help in Nolan's recruitment), and two of Nolan's high school coaches, Milwaukee-Riverside University High's Tyrone Lewis and Huntington Prep's Rob Fulford, all speak glowingly of the big man.

“He’s a good kid," said Fulford. "You're not going to have any problems with him." 

(And yes, Fulford now coaches Xavier Rathan-Mayes, the highly-touted Class of 2013 point guard who had an 'amazing' visit to Storrs last fall, at Huntington Prep. Fulford had no new info on which way Rathan-Mayes may be leaning, but did offer this: Rathan-Mayes's father is Tharon Mayes, the New Haven native who starred at Florida State and still lives in Connecticut).

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