Flemings chooses 'Bows over Cats

Roderick Flemings, a junior college first-team All-America player, signed his letter of intent yesterday to play for Hawaii.

"Let everybody know ... I'm going to be at Hawai'i," Flemings said. "A lot of schools were looking at me, but I feel like Hawai'i is the best place for me."

Flemings is 6 feet 7 and 215 pounds, and shoots with his left hand. He said he can play either the shooting guard or small forward position.

"My game is versatile," he said. "I'm left-handed, so other teams have a hard time guarding me. I feel like I can shoot the 3 or take it to the basket. I can even post-up, if that's what it takes."

The proof is in the statistics. Flemings averaged 20.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.7 steals and 1.6 blocked shots per game as a sophomore at Weatherford (Texas) College last season.

He was one of 10 players selected to the National Junior College Athletic Association's All-America first team.

"He's the real deal — a guy who can do a lot of different things," Hawai'i head coach Bob Nash said. "He's certainly a very gifted player who can make plays at both ends of the floor."

Weatherford head coach Mark Osina said Flemings was being recruited by Connecticut, Georgetown, West Virginia, and "just about everybody else."

Flemings told The Advertiser earlier this week that he had narrowed his choices to Hawai'i and Kentucky. He was supposed to make a recruiting visit to Kentucky this weekend, but signed with Hawai'i instead.

"It was so difficult," he said. "Kentucky told me I was going to be a starter right away, but I just like what Coach Nash is doing. I really feel like I can change the program around and help get the team to the (NCAA) Tournament."

Hawai'i associate coach Jackson Wheeler said Flemings is the most talented recruit to sign with Hawai'i since Anthony Carter in 1996. Carter is now a starting point guard for the Denver Nuggets.

"He's legit," said Wheeler, who was the primary recruiter of Flemings. "I think he can bring that same excitement to the program that A.C. brought. He's the kind of player the fans will want to come and watch."

Flemings was considered by several national publications as one of the top 25 high school prospects in the country when he was a senior at DeSoto High in Dallas. He signed with Oklahoma State, but left during his freshman season for personal reasons.

He enrolled at North Texas for one semester, then transferred to Weatherford. He will be a junior at UH in the 2008-09 season, and will have two seasons of eligibility.

Flemings said he thought about entering his name in the 2008 NBA Draft, but his mother convinced him to give NCAA Division I basketball another try.

"My mom didn't want me to get an agent," he said. "Hopefully everything will work out at Hawai'i and I still can get to the NBA one day."

Flemings said he still needs to complete summer school courses at Weatherford to become eligible at Hawai'i.

"It's all good," he said. "I'll be in Hawai'i as soon as I can."

Courtesy: Honaluluadvertiser.com