Frank Haith has a problem. He has to find tickets for the next four years for Edwin Rios's family and friends. The 6-foot, 165-pound guard from Miami Senior High is one of the biggest hoops celebrities in South Florida right now behind two guys named Dwyane and Shaq and now Rios is bringing his game to the ACC program after he committed to the Hurricanes on Monday.
Rios, the No. 20 ranked player in the class of 2007, is a popular name around South Beach. He's brought Miami High, a school that has claimed over 20 state championships in it's history, back to prominence. People in Miami say one of the reasons why the school is back is because of Rios, a tremendous scoring guard.
Only two years into his high school career, Rios has set the bar for big-time hoops. Take for example his antics in the state playoffs. His 24-point performance in the fourth quarter was one of the many heroic showings by the underclassman. Rios said he wants to continue that tradition of bringing the University of Miami to a higher level.
"I think my expectations are higher for myself than anybody else," Rios said. "I know I want to come in and make an impact right away. I want to get the program on the right track and I want to make a direct impact right away."
His AAU coach Kenny Gillion believes Rios will help Haith and the Hurricanes right away.
"When Miami turns the corner and becomes a national power, I think you can trace their turnaround to the day Eddie Rios committed to the school," Gillion said.
Rios's father, Eddie, Sr., said his son was ready to make the commitment and help bring in other players to the school.
"Coach Haith is a great guy and Eddie really liked him and he's always like Miami. So he figured why not commit and waste any more time," Mr. Rios said. "Whenever I'd ask Eddie what he wanted to do, he always said UM, UM, UM."
When Haith took the job at Miami a year ago, he identified several of the top players in Florida. Rios was one of the first guys he communicated with, says Mr. Rios.
"He told Eddie, 'I want you to know that my door is always open and we have a scholarship here waiting for you whenever you are ready,'" Mr. Rios said.
Now Rios, who also considered Duke, UNC, Louisville, UConn, Florida and Florida State, is trying to find other players to walk through the same door he stepped into.
"I want to start early and working on some other players now," Rios, Jr. said. "Give me some forwards and some centers."
Location was another major factor in his decision to play for the local school.
"It played a major part. In fact, I'd say it was 99.9 percent why I committed there," Rios said. "My family is all here. They didn't want to move or buy another house somewhere. All of my family can now come out and watch me play. That means a lot."
Now it's time to start allotting the tickets. Good luck.