Georgia Tech uses LeBron James in sales pitch to nation’s No. 2 basketball prospect

Both Georgia Tech and UGA had in-home visits with Jaylen Brown, the nation’s No. 2 college basketball prospect, within the last few days.

And Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory had a creative recruiting pitch that related to the world’s best basketball player, LeBron James.

“Coach Gregory expressed to him the importance of staying home, and he talked about how it affected LeBron,” Brown’s AAU coach, Desmond Eastmond, told the AJC on Wednesday night.

“(Gregory) reminded Jaylen that when LeBron decided to come back to Cleveland, one of the first things he said is that he never should’ve left because the importance of him staying within the community that raised him. He mentioned how LeBron talked about how the support system raised him and meant so much to him.

“Coach Gregory’s message was very, very powerful.”

Jaylen Brown (AJC)

Jaylen Brown (AJC)

Earlier in the week, UGA’s Mark Fox gave his best shot with the 6-foot-7 forward from Wheeler High School.

“Mark Fox showed Jaylen exactly where his shots were going to come from on the floor,” Eastmond said. “He said ‘This is where we expect you to score. And this what we expect of you based on what we know you can do.’ Coach Fox talked about the talent level that he’s had in college — players that have gone on to become productive pros over the years, even when he was at Nevada.”

What type of impression did the in-state coaches make on Brown with the in-home visits?

“Both went well,” Eastmond said. “They both came in and pretty much expressed how he would be the centerpiece of their programs. They talked to him about how important it would be to stay home, and how much he could do for himself with the community behind him. They both showed him how he could benefit in their programs – how it would be a win-win for both sides.

“I talked to Coach Fox and Coach Gregory afterwards, and they both thought it went great, too. It wasn’t their first time talking to Jaylen. The in-home visit was more of a formality because Fox and Gregory have been on the kid since the ninth grade. So they both had an existing relationship.”

Last week, Brown had in-home visits with coaches from Kentucky, Kansas and UCLA.

What’s next for the 5-star? He is in the process of setting up official visits. He only has one recruiting trip set up so far, going to Kansas on Oct. 10. He is working out dates with Kentucky, Georgia Tech and UGA. He may take his fifth trip to UCLA.

“He hasn’t finalized Kentucky for Oct. 17, or I haven’t heard anything about it being finalized yet,” Eastmond said. “Nothing else but Kansas has been finalized. He’s actually been working on some dates with Georgia and Georgia Tech. The one date that they had with Georgia falls on his birthday weekend. They actually scraped that date, and they are working on some more dates now.

“So he’s talking to those four about visits, and probably UCLA I think. Again, nothing is finalized yet. The only thing that is solid so far is Kansas, but they are working on dates for the others.”

Brown’s coach complimented his star player on how well he’s handling the pressure and spotlight of the recruiting process.

“He’s doing really good with it,” Eastmond said. “Jaylen is mature. He’s mature way beyond his years. The summer recruiting has settled down, so he’s taking things in stride now. He’s not traveling. He’s just going to school and working out.”

Brown will likely wait until after his senior season at Wheeler to commit in order to evaluate the massive coaching changes and early NBA departures that happen after every college season.


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— By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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