5 At Top For Star Wing Player

FT. WAYNE, Ind. -- Thomas Gardner, a 6-4, 200 pound shooting guard from Jefferson H.S. in Portland, Ore., is one of the better wing prospects in the Class of 2003.
Gardner turned in a solid effort on Friday night at the Spiece Run N Slam Tournament here, helping the Portland Inner City Players to a very easy victory over the Bloomington Silver club.
A lights out three point bomber who also helps out quite a bit on the glass, Gardner shared some insight about his recruitment with the Insiders Report/
Gardner said he has been offered scholarships thus far by Connecticut, Kansas and Florida, and also professed an interest in Missouri and Oregon. It's unclear at this time if he still remains a viable target for the Jayhawks, since they recently picked up a pair of wing players in Oklahoma natives Jeremy Case and J.R. Giddens.
"I am pretty firm on those five schools right now," Gardner said.
Last year, his ICP teammate Brandon Lincoln narrowed his choices down to Oregon and Mizzou before casting his lot with the instate Ducks.
Gardner is a well built marksman who is a terrific catch and shoot three point bomber. His body and frame suggests that he could be an athletic player, but we didn't see him do anything above the rim in last night's tilt against Bloomington Silver.
"I am working on my two dribble pull-ups," Gardner pointed out. "I need to improve my foot work and get better in my ball handling."
Gardner will have plenty of chances to be seen this summer by scouts and college coaches. First, he will attend a pair of marquee events in June -- the USA Development Hoop Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the NBA Players Camp in Richmond, Va.
He will begin the busy July evaluation period at the adidas ABCD Camp in New Jersey, and then attend a trio of events with the Inner City Players: the Final Tournament, the adidas Big Time Tournament and the Best of the Summer Tournament.
This past season at Jefferson, Gardner averaged 15.5 points, seven rebounds and two steals per contest. He said he has a 2.8 GPA but fell short of a qualifying score on his first SAT exam this year.
We will keep you posted on his recruitment as well as that of other top prospects in the Class of 2003, so stay tuned.