Somewhere, Coach Cal is fist-pumping.
After months of noncommittal statements and gauging the interest of every professional club on the planet, Ater Majok told The Courant's Mike Anthony he will definitely be playing for UConn next season. For Majok, who declared for the NBA draft without signing an agent and then pulled his name from consideration, the educational opportunities at UConn were just too important to pass up. You know, once playing professionally was out of the question.
"Education comes first, so I'm going to get my education," Majok said Sunday at the Greater Hartford Pro-Am, breaking a three-month silence. "The decision is for me to get my law degree. It was tough, all the pressure and stuff. Now, it's not about that. It's time for me to get to work on school and the team."
The decision came just in time. I don't know if sources close to Majok could come up with any more vague statements to describe where the Majok man stood. But I guess you can't hold it against Majok for pursuing his professional options considering he was, you know, a refugee from a war-torn country.
And although he won't be able to suit up until second semester, Majok's return could make UConn the favorite to win the Big East next season. Anthony, who has been watching Majok at the Hartford Pro-Am, couldn't help but be impressed by the 6-10 forward in action.
"Majok needs to improve his ballhandling, get a better nose for the ball while rebounding and not travel as often as he does. All that will come with time and structure under Jim Calhoun at UConn. Though it's hard to truly judge a player in the loosely-coached, defense-lacking pro-am, Majok appears just to need to be more sound with the ball -- like most inexperienced big guys.
But, man, does ever have a presence -- long and fast and strong. He plays like a wing. His fadeaway is money."
Not money enough to make him money, but we'll take it.