NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – Just as Chris Paul snuck on to Court 6 at the Riverview Park Activities Center to coach one of his CP3 teams in a late Peach Jam game Wednesday night, Spurs veteran Quincy Pondexter walked off the court and in to a hallway to speak with his Vegas Elite team.
It didn’t go too well.
Vegas Elite blew a one-point halftime lead over the Indy Heat and, despite a late scoring spree by UA target Josh Christopher, wound up losing 94-84.
“Four more games in AAU forever,” Pondexter told his team, referring to the Peach Jam being at the end of the EYBL circuit and end of the college coaches’ attendance at club events this summer. “I don’t know if that hits you guys hard enough.”
Pondexter didn’t have to be here. But even while continuing his NBA career after injuries cost him the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, the former Washington standout has coached the past four summers in club events.
“I’m a gym rat, so…” Pondexter said.
With Vegas Elite, Pondexter has talent to work with. His roster includes Christopher, five-star 2021 guard Jaden Hardy (also a UA target) and Gonzaga commit Julian Strawther.
On Wednesday, Christopher had 29 points on 9-for-21 shooting against Indy Elite for one of the top scoring performances of the opening day.
“He’s a tremendous player and he will be a great player in the future,” Pondexter said.
The Wildcats have been following Christopher throughout his high school career, hoping that his family might provide a third different Pac-12 school a sibling – following Patrick (Cal) and ASU commit Caleb Christopher.
Although having a brother choose ASU might seem to eliminate UA from Josh’s choices, he said it didn’t.
“I’m going to go wherever fits me,” Josh Christopher said. “Caleb’s at ASU because that’s what’s going to help him in his career going forward. Whatever decision I make will be a decision that helps me moving forward.”
Christopher said he hasn’t made plans to take visits yet but could start focusing on recruiting after this weekend.
“It kind of hit me that this is my last AAU tournament so I should probably start winding down and pick out what schools I want to look at,” he said. “I haven’t given it much thought. I’m just kind of enjoying basketball right now.”
He said the efforts of UA coach Sean Miller and the career stopover of Stanley Johnson in Tucson have created his interest in in the Wildcats.
The first of the NCAA notices of allegations resulting from the federal investigation has landed, at N.C. State.
Virginia landed Jabri Abdur-Rahim, who received a scholarship offer from Arizona last month.