Monday, June 25, 2018
Aubrey Griffin Down to Two -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
6'0" 2019 PROSPECT AUBREY GRIFFIN NARROWS IT TO UCONN AND LOUISVILLE
Soccer's loss is basketball's gain.
Aubrey Griffin has grown up in a basketball family. Her dad, former NBA player Adrian Griffin, spent three years as a star at Seton Hall before taking his game to "the league". He spent nine years playing the NBA -- 477 games -- and is now an assistant coach for the Oklahoma Thunder.
Her older brother, Alan, heads to Illinois this fall to start his student-athlete journey. He scored 28 points in the championship game for Stepinac High School in the the NY State Class AA Federation Tournament of Champions game and was named MVP of the tournament.
Younger brother A.J, also 6'5", is a rising sophomore at Stepinac and averaged over 12 p.p.g. in his freshman year. He already has offers on the table from Illinois, Seton Hall and Wake Forest. Her mom Audrey ran track at Seton Hall and was an All-American on the 400 meter relay team.
We're not sure if the family dog is "tops in show" or has a blazing 40 yard dash time...but it wouldn't surprise us. The family has had a lot of success in athletics.
So...back to Aubrey...Why soccer originally?
The story, like many high school athletes, has to do with growing. She developed a love for soccer in grade school. As she began to get taller in the seventh grade, the story goes that her Dad suggested she might try adding a second sport to her activities. She was, according to her mom, a prolific scorer in soccer...fast of foot and quick to beat defenders and collect goals. Those quick feet also benefited her in hoops. Even if it was a casual and a bit reluctant addition and switch-over from the turf to the hardwood. Basketball wasn't quite winning her over just yet at the time...but successes on the court eventually led her to concentrate on hoops solely about a year later.
Her new found hoops prowess hit a snag during her sophomore year. Coming off a freshman high school season where she scored 51 points in a game and averaged almost 25 points and 10 rebounds...she was preparing for her sophomore year at Ossining in a fall league game when, on a breakaway layup, she went crashing to the floor. She remembers the knee turning inward, hearing a pop and then pain. If you've ever had an ACL injury (like your humble columnist has) the experience is unforgettable. THe pain subsides pretty quickly, you think you might be OK...and then you try to put weigh on the leg, try to walk...and it's not happening for you.
Knee injuries are devastating. Ask former Card Asia Taylor, who suffered one in high school. Ask Lindsey Duvall, current Card who has had four knee surgeries. The doctors and her family chose to take the positive path and assure her that once the surgery and rehab were completed, she's come back even stronger.
And she did.
A successful junior year. A trip (uninvited but determined to compete) to the USA U-17 tryouts. She made it to the last 18 but did not make the final cut. She partially blames her unselfishness as a reason she didn't make the squad -- trying to set up teammates instead of being a scorer.
Louisville has been following her since her freshman year. The Cards stayed with her and kept their interest during the injury. The Cards reportedly have an offer on the table. UConn got interested during her junior season but, from what we can tell, has not offered. Audrey attended the UConn-Louisville game last winter. Sat behind the UConn bench in the 11-point Cardinal loss.
The Cards 2019 recruiting efforts have been stellar so far. Nyah Green, a 6'1" guard and Ramani Parker, a 6'4" forward, have given verbals. Louisville will graduate four at the end of the 2018-19 season, so there are roster spots available.
A family atmosphere. A chance to play in the KFC YUM! Center. The Cards are in a intriguing position and, although we can't ask coaches about prospective recruits, we would think the Cards are in a good position to gain her services. a 50/50 chance, if you will. No word on any prospective visits to campus yet. The Cards have had great success in the past with wings that are around the 6'0" mark.
It is hard to say "No" to UConn if they come calling. Sara Hammond did it, though. Audrey freely admits she's an independent thinker that likes to push herself and try things on her own. Maybe the type of person who might not let the UConn hype influence her and could gravitate to "the Ville".
Recruiting is a science, a skill and an art. Despite all the efforts, though, ultimately it comes down to a prospect and family deciding what will be the best fit for the student-athlete. Having the security of knowing your coach will be there for your time on campus, that that coach has assembled one of the best staffs and assistants in the game and that you'll perform in an excellent conference and in front of loyal fans who fill the seats can play a big part in the decision making. Also, does the school have the academic program that you have an interest in?
Aubrey Griffin is the number 56 prospect in ESPNW's Hoop Gurlz Super 60 for the 2019 class. We think she'd look great in Cardinal colors. And #44 jersey is unclaimed. Her dad wore #44 when he was with the Chicago Bulls. Her dad's middle name is Darrell. Darrell Griffith may have been the best basketball player in Louisville history. My favorite #44 of all-time has to be "Pistol" Pete Maravich . A scorer supreme. Aubrey has shown she can fill up a hoop as well.
The way this writer sees it...Aubrey, the stars are aligned for you to wear #44 at Louisville.
(INFORMATION AND PARTS OF TODAY'S ARTICLE CREDITED TO AN ESPNW ARTICLE BY WALTER VILLA 6/21/18 ABOUT GRIFFIN)