UConn Shows Interest in Hartford Product


We've mentioned in recent weeks that 2013 will be an important recruiting year for the Huskies. Down five players this spring and now banned from the postseason in the spring, Jim Calhoun (assuming he's still coaching) will have the unenviable task of again rebuilding a program that first took a quarter-century to assemble.

It explains why the team already has its sights on 14-year-old Stephen Zimmerman, as well as players much closer to graduation. Like, say, Josh Hart and Kuran Iverson.

We've spoken previously about Hart but Iverson has made his way into the local news recently too. The Hartford Courant's Dom Amore wrote about him Thursday, noting that he's looking to regain his status as an elite prospect.

"I want to show that there's nothing wrong with me," Iverson told Amore after scoring 17 points in the Greater Hartford Pro-Am League on Wednesday night. "I know [my stock] has dropped, but I don't worry about it."

And his high school coach added: "The expectations for him have been so high from such a young age," said John Mirabello, "It's something he deals with. … I think people are seeing him at his best now. He's hungry to prove he's a top player. I've told him to just play and have fun."

So while the Huskies are recruiting him, unlike Zimmerman and Hart, it's not clear if they've offered Iverson a scholarship. In fact, even Iverson isn't sure where he stands.

“I don’t really know,” Iverson told the Connecticut Post's Kevin Duffy earlier this week. “All I know is they contact me a lot and they’re interested in me. When I was down in DC at the Nike Global Challenge, I saw Calhoun and Kevin Ollie watching.”

Amore writes that "UConn is thought to be monitoring his progress, rather than aggressively recruiting him."

Iverson did confirm to Duffy that he has an offer from Memphis, Florida "wants to," and that he's been in contact with Kentucky, too.

Duffy calls Iverson "quite possibly the best prospect to emerge from Hartford since Marcus Camby." It sounds like Ed Huckaby Jr., Iverson's coach next season Fishburne Military School, doesn't disagree.

"Athletically, he is an NBA player," he told Amore. "He is going to college for a year or two, and then he is going to be able to go into the draft. But what kind of person is he going to be? I think he's a terrific kid, and we can't wait for him to get here."

But like a lot of teenagers, Iverson needs to focus on improving his academics. Mirabello, meanwhile, thinks that college will be the best thing for Iverson. "Personally, I can't wait for him to get to college," he told Amore. "He just needs to focus. I think once he is there, a lot of the things that have been distracting him will be gone."

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