Recruiting Central: Gripper set to take prep school route

Abington Friends grad Joey Gripper will select a prep school next week in hopes of entering college in the fall of 2012.
Abington Friends grad Joey Gripper will select a prep school next week in hopes of entering college in the fall of 2012. (BOB WILLIAMS / For The Inquirer)
Posted: August 10, 2011

Joey Gripper is bound for prep school.

The recent Abington Friends School graduate's top five choices are Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut, Taag Academy in Florida, West Virginia Christian, Central Jersey Each One Teach One Academy, and Montclair Academy (Phoenixville). The 6-foot-2 point guard hopes to enroll at a university the following year.

He originally had scholarship offers from Manhattan College and Hampton for the coming season. Gripper, however, needs to bring up his grade-point average for freshman eligibility to college

"We are going to pick a prep school after next week," said Paul Gripper, Joey's father.

The Grippers put the selection process on hold in order to take unofficial visits to colleges for the Class of 2012.

They will visit Memphis on Monday. The duo will then tour San Francisco on Aug. 18 before visiting Virginia Military Institute two days later.

Paul Gripper said his son was also being recruited by Miami. None of the four programs have offered a scholarship.

"We are taking these visits because we want to get rolling with those guys," Paul Gripper said.

"I really think he can end up at San Francisco. Here's one reason: The head coach [Rex Walters] watched his entire [AAU] game in Phoenix. And the head coach called . . . and said Joey was by far the best player on the floor."

Gripper averaged 14 points and five assists this past season at Abington Friends. He averaged 19.7 points in his last 12 games with the Team Phenom AAU team.

Jefferson dominates - again

Amile Jefferson has shown, once again, why he's regarded as one of the nation's premier basketball prospects.

The Friends' Central senior had 25 points and 10 rebounds to lead USA 2012 Blue to Monday's 114-107 victory over USA 2013 Red in the final of the Adidas Nations tournament in Los Angeles.

The 6-8 combo forward was named the game's MVP.

Jefferson averaged 19.4 points and seven rebounds in five games at the tourney.

In June, he won the scoring title (20.8 points per game) at the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 camp at Virginia. The West Philly resident also received the camp's scholar-athlete award.

Jefferson is the nation's third-ranked prospect in the Class of 2012, according to the Bob Gibbons All-Star Scouting Service.

He has scholarship offers from Villanova, Temple, La Salle, Syracuse, Penn State, Stanford, North Carolina State, Ohio State, West Virginiam and Wake Forest, among others.

No love for Nits

Stefon Diggs, one of the nation's top football prospects, recently narrowed his list of possible college destinations to 15 schools. Penn State, which offered the Good Council (Md.) wideout, is not among them.

The schools on his list are Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, California, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech.

The 6-0, 185-pounder is the nation's second-best wideout and eighth-ranked overall prospect in the Class of 2012, according to

Gilbert to tour Hawk Hill

Marcus Gilbert, a 6-6 swingman at the Academy of the New Church, will take an unofficial visit to St. Joseph's on Wednesday.

The high-flying senior does have scholarship offers from Boston University, Duquesne, Rice, George Mason, Wagner, Iona, Fordham, Rider, Albany, and James Madison.

Tar Heel connection

Bishop Eustace senior Dexter Harris wants a scholarship offer from Monmouth.

The reasoning?

The 6-3 combo guard would love to play for former North Carolina standouts.

King Rice, who played point guard for the Tar Heels, is the Hawks' new coach. Assistant coaches Derrick Phelps and Brian Reese, were his teammates at UNC.

Phelps, who also played point guard, and Reese, a former small forward, were members of the Tar Heels' 1993 national championship team.

Harris is also receiving recruiting interest from Albany.

Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 215-854-2939,, or @pompeysgridlock. Read his blog "Owls Inq" at

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