Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Basketball Recruit (and High Jump Standout!) Amida Brimah Arriving at UConn Tonight

Remember the story of Dwyane Wade surprising a girl at her high school senior prom last month? That was at Archbishop Coleman Carroll High -- same school Amida Brimah attended.

Brimah, however, wasn't at the prom. He was back in Ghana, visiting his parents. No big deal -- he had already met Wade at Wade's Fantasy Camp last August, and it's not often Brimah, who came to Miami from Ghana a few years ago, gets to see his folks.

It's been an interesting past few months for Brimah, the 6-foot-11 center, who's flying up from Miami to Storrs tonight to begin summer classes at UConn. This past spring, after a strong senior season on the hardwood, he figured he'd try his hand at high jump.

"The coach kept telling me to do it," Brimah said. "I didn't know I could do it. Back home in Ghana, we do it on bare ground and you can get hurt doing it. He was like 'It's different down here.'"

So Brimah gave it a shot and did pretty well. He won the Class 2A Region 4 championship with a leap of 6-2, then took third place at the states at the same height. And if 6-2 doesn't sound too high, think how tough it is for a 6-11, 215-pound kid to unfurl his body over that height. That's some pretty good athleticism.

Brimah also recently got to bond with two future teammates, fellow incoming freshmen Terrence Samuel (who'll arrive in Storrs on Wednesday) and Kentan Facey, while in New York City. He played with Facey in a game at the NIKE Pro City Summer League , and with Samuel at a tournament in Coney Island. He also got in a run at the famed Rucker Park in Harlem.

It looks like Brimah will be playing in this year's Greater Hartford Pro-Am (in Waterbury) for the Springfield Slamm, coached by Dr. Steve Sobel. He'll likely be teamed with Facey and possibly Samuel, though it hasn't been determined yet if Samuel will play in the pro-am this summer. Sobel also said there's an "outside shot" of DeAndre Daniels playing on his team, if he plays in the league.

Sobel said he's looking forward to the possibility of coaching Brimah, Facey and Samuel.

"As Kevin Ollie said, their attitudes and work ethic are going to be what's needed this year," Sobel said. "My role is to put them in the mental and physical place where they can utilize their talents get conditioned to where they can be contributors."

Interestingly, Sobel also draws some UMass kids to his team, and one of them will be Jabarie Hinds, who recently transferred from West Virginia. Hinds, of course, is one of the prime reasons why Ryan Boatright landed at UConn. Boatright had committed to Bob Huggins at WVU, only to find out a few days later that Hinds had committed, too. That persuaded Boatright to de-commit, and he soon wound up at Storrs.

*** Meanwhile, UConn announced on Tuesday that Lasan Kromah, the transfer from GWU, has officially joined the program.

"We're excited to have Lasan join our program," Ollie said. "He is the tyupe of player and person who is going to make us stronger as a team with his ability on the court, as well as his high character ... I think Lasan can be a great facilitator for us. I love his versatility on the court. He can help us in so many ways."

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