Florida Gulf Coast became the first No. 15 seed to advance to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament round of 16 on Sunday night. Florida Gulf Coast also was the first school to offer Coolidge center David Kadiri a scholarship earlier this winter, a fact that hasn’t been lost on the 6-foot-8 center as he tries to navigate the recruiting process.
But what really has Kadiri’s attention about the small school from Fort Myers is the high-flying style it used to topple two higher-seeded teams. The Eagles didn’t just upset No. 2 Georgetown and No. 7 San Diego State — they dismantled both teams in Philadelphia with an above-the-rim approach highlighted by a number of dazzling alley-oops and slams, earning the team the nickname “Dunk City” and cementing the program’s place as this year’s tournament darling.
“I really like their style of basketball play,” Kadiri said Sunday. “They push the ball and run the floor, and that’s what I like to do.”
Kadiri became the centerpiece in Coolidge’s run to the DCIAA and DCSAA titles this season — and much of that was attributed to his development as a true post player.
But with Kadiri’s raw athletic ability, and his penchant to run the floor, it’s apparent why he has been on Florida Gulf Coast’s radar as a prospect.
He averaged 13.7 points this winter and was among the city’s most prolific dunkers; that trait included a two-handed slam that shut the door on Ballou in the DCSAA title game two weeks ago. As Coolidge guard Travaughn Newell said earlier this winter, “David, he’s always hyped for anybody.”
Now he’s hyped for Florida Gulf Coast, although he has plenty of other interest pouring in. Kadiri said that he will be speaking with coaches from Quinnipiac later this week, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi expressed interest last week. In addition to Florida Gulf Coast, he currently has offers from North Carolina A&T, Duquesne, Gardner-Webb, Niagara, Stony Brook and UMBC.
All-Mets Marcus Newby of Quince Orchard and Antonio Harris of Wise highlight the list of 19 local football players selected to represent Maryland in the Big 33 Football Classic. The team will meet a squad of Pennsylvania’s top players in the 57th annual all-star game on June 13 in Hershey, Pa., marking Maryland’s return to the exhibition for the first time since 1992.
Players were selected after two tryout combines earlier this month.
Out of a pool of more than 100 candidates, the coaches selected 33 position players and Severn place kicker Ben Priddy (Georgetown).
While the event has lost some of its luster through the years with the rise of national all-star games, one impressive fact continues to endure: Every Super Bowl has included at least one Big 33 alumnus.