The class of 2006 is loaded with size and unlimited talent. Prospects with that mixture usually end up on a NBA mock draft inside of a recruiting list. It is the nature of the beast nowadays. New Jersey 7-foot, 230-pound center Brian Zoubek could be the expectation to the rule. With a strong desire to be a student athlete, several high-majors have come calling.
Zoubek, who plays at Haddonfield Memorial High School in Cherry Hill, N.J., is one of the most sought after centers in the class of 2006. The No. 31 ranked player in the country is also gathering information about prospective college homes and educating himself on his best options. He and his parents will leave for California on Wednesday as they head to Palo Alto and unofficially visit Stanford.
His father, Paul, said the trip west comes at a perfect time. Haddonfield students have Thursday and Friday off due to a teacher’s convention, giving the family time to make the cross-country trip. The Cardinal have been a major player for Zoubek’s services for over a year.
“They have great tradition and Coach (Trent) Johnson came out to visit with (Haddonfield head coach Paul Weideman) and from what I understand it was a great meeting,” Mr. Zoubek said. “I know Brian is looking forward to meeting with him when he gets out there.”
A year ago, Zoubek made a trip to North Carolina to visit Duke and Wake Forest and came home impressed with the ACC powers.
“It’s important to get out on these unofficial visits for him because it gives him a chance to get a feel for the demands of college basketball programs,” Mr. Zoubek sad.
Georgia Tech, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Princeton are also in the picture. All of the programs, including Duke, Stanford and Wake Forest, were standing on the sidelines in October to evaluate Zoubek in an open gym setting.
“He’s still keeping his options open,” his father said.
Zoubek had a unique opportunity to play with the United States Junior National Team in Douai, France in June. The time overseas helped the youngster get a look at the game across the globe as well as the style of play inside the paint with other big men.
“He had a great experience in France because he was able to get a chance to play in an international setting against players with very good skills and good coaching,” Mr. Zoubek said. “Playing against some 7-footers from Germany and other places really showed him the physical nature of the game. It was a great learning experience.”
The progression inside also continued back in the U.S., where he teamed up with new Connecticut recruit Andrew Bynum. The 7-footers teamed together with the New Jersey All-Stars on the AAU circuit and now practice together during the week.
“Playing with Andrew also helps. In fact, Brian has been working out with a personal trainer for the last three years. He’s developing his skills, lifting weights and spending time just improving his overall games,” Mr. Zoubek said. “So Andrew’s mother heard about the trainer and she actually asked me for his number. Now the two of them work out against each two nights a week.”
Trying finding that match-up any where in the country. Most colleges don’t have that luxury of two talented centers. Zoubek will continue to be a top recruit and it’s no wonder why schools are inviting him and his family out for visits.