I spoke with Western Kentucky signee Derrick Gordon this afternoon about this week’s Derby Festival Basketball Classic event in Louisville, a high school all-star game that will see him team up with fellow WKU signee – and Warren Central product – George Fant.
Gordon said he’s excited to head back to Kentucky, a place he feels has become a home away from home, even if he won’t get to stop by Bowling Green.
“I’m really excited, I haven’t been in Kentucky since my official visit last October,” Gordon said. “To come back there even if I’m not going to be in Bowling Green is really good. I’ll have a lot of people there to support me and I plan on putting on a show.
“It’s going to have to be my second home living that far away (from his home state of New Jersey). There are a lot of people there that I know will support me and it’s a family atmosphere there and that’s the main reason why I wanted to go there. Everyone’s always treated me like family.”
One member of that extended family Gordon talked about was Fant, a fellow signee that he’s played against several times in the AAU circuit – but never actually played with. That’ll change Friday.
“We talk about that every day,” Gordon said. “Just today we were talking about how we’re going to get there on Wednesday and start the countdown to when we take over Louisville.
“It’s going to be really exciting. We have a great connection, we get along really well and that’ll just carry on to the court. It’s really, really exciting. … I talk to George about every day. We talk a lot about getting down to (WKU) this summer and I know our connection will get even better when we get there. And not just me and George, it’s everyone else that’s coming in with us. We’ve got big plans for next year. We want to prove a lot of people wrong. There’s some people out there that don’t think we’ll be able to do it, but we’re ready to prove them wrong.”
And as was the case last fall, Gordon says he’s put his recruiting cap back on in WKU’s benefit this spring – as the Hilltopper coaching staff is preparing to finalize its class for 2011 with a few additions during the late signing period.
Gordon says he’s been in touch with WKU recruits Kevin Kaspar and Tony Kimbro – a forward from Jeffersontown that will play with Gordon and Fant in the Derby game. He says he’s also spoken to Colorado prep point guard Riley Grabau – a player that InsideHilltopperSports.com lists as having an offer from WKU.
Gordon also said he’s been in touch recently with Brooklyn point guard Shaquille Stokes about the possibility of taking a harder look at WKU for next season. Reports recently have indicated that WKU has gotten involved with Stokes – a player Rivals.com lists as having offers from Iowa, UNLV and TCU.
“We can’t take all of them, but I’m trying my hardest with them,” Gordon laughed. “I’m talking with everybody and trying to find out who all wants to come.
“I was just talking with (Tony Kimbro) and it’ll be cool to be on the same team with him (in Louisville). And I’ll talk with him a lot more then. And I might even talk with (Kentucky Mr. Basketball) Anthony Hickey some, too. Even though he’s looking at other schools, I might just see where his mind’s at.”
I’ll have a full preview on the Derby game in Friday’s Daily News.