Sunday, July 01, 2007

One-Year-Old Brooklyn Phenom
Commits to Florida Basketball

In a development rocking the world of college basketball recruiting, 1-year-old basketball prospect Gabe Shanoff verbally committed to play for the University of Florida.

Shanoff made the announcement yesterday on his blog, with a simple message: "Guh," interpreted as an alliterative toddler shorthand for "Gators."

The 2-foot-7 Shanoff projects as a combination guard after a solid season of dunking on a toy basket. At his most recent annual physical, the doctor projected Shanoff to fall in the 75th height percentile.

Shanoff's father, Dan, said that playing time was a key factor.

"With top 2007 guard recruits Jai Lucas and Nick Calethas graduating in 2011, Gabe will be positioned to step right in and fill a team need in 2024," Dan Shanoff said. "Once he starts walking."

Florida coach Billy Donovan declined to comment, citing NCAA regulations about discussing recruits before they have signed an official letter-of-intent or no longer sleep in a crib.

Shanoff's unprecedented announcement comes in the wake of 14-year-old 8th grade point guard Ryan Boatright pledging his verbal commitment to play basketball for Southern California and Trojans coach Tim Floyd a few weeks ago.

"Boatright was a role model for making an announcement this early," Shanoff's father, Dan, said. "The trend is definitely toward early commitments to take the pressure off the kids.

"How much less pressure can you have than to make a commitment as a 1-year-old?

"Now Gabe can concentrate on preparing for the academic rigors of pre-school and working on his fundamentals as a player, like walking on his own without holding on to the couch."

According to recruiting analysts, Florida had been the early leader for Gabe's commitment, going back in utero. "Gabe was an 8-month-old fetus when the Gators won their first national title," Dave Telep of Scout.com said.

"Hearing that TV coverage in the womb might have been the difference that other programs simply couldn't compete with, particularly when you add in the second national title when Gabe was 8 months out."

Remaining close to his family played a large role in his decision: One set of Shanoff's grandparents live in Gainesville and "insisted" they "were available to babysit anytime."

Shanoff had also been considering his father's alma mater, Northwestern, along with a handful of programs geographically closer to his current New York-based day-care center, including Syracuse and Villanova.

Shanoff’s father noted that a factor that made the Big East attractive was its legacy of charismatic New York City point guards (“Give up your girl before you give up your dribble… of milk from your chin.”), a personality trait of the 1-year-old that his dad attributed to his Brooklyn-bred paternal grandmother and great-grandma, who was rumored to have once rejected neighborhood schoolboy hoops legend Red Auerbach for a date.

Most recently, Shanoff had expressed interest in Oregon, but recruiting analysts linked the attention to his fascination with toy ducks, rather than a sincere desire to play for Ernie Kent.

When asked about the Ducks, Shanoff squealed, "Duck!" and crawled over to his pile of toys, leaving open the speculation that without the signed letter of intent, which can be completed in October 2023 at the earliest, the commitment is not entirely solid.

(As if it needed to be said, but -- sigh -- has to be in this day and age: This is satire. neither Dave Telep or Billy Donovan were really contacted for this post.)

6 comments:

bird said...

I will definitely be attending Midnight Madness in 2024 to see this phenom--another Gator out of New York in the tradition of Joakim Noah!

PeteJayhawk said...

Uh oh, MDS wrote about this at the FanHaus....prepare for an onslaught of intelligent commenters.

Unsilent Majority said...

faaantastic

My Hero Zero said...

Kudos to your son on his choice of schools. I've also been prepping/brainwashing my son for his Gator future. In the 99th percentile for height but only the 75th for weight, he projects to be a slightly-whiter and infinitely less goofy Joakim Noah.

T Fro said...

Good stuff, Dan, but can he cover the lane, with something besides one of your shoes?

SportsGirl365 said...

Brilliant as always.