Monday, December 14, 2009
Philadelphia's Roman Catholic High School has produced a number of talented Division 1 basketball players over the past couple years. Current Villanova freshman Maalik Wayns starred at Roman Catholic before becoming a McDonald's All American and moving onto Nova. Current Pitt junior Brad Wanamaker is another Roman Catholic alum. As is Rider forward Mike Ringgold. Current Roman senior guard Rakeem Brookins will play college ball at Tulane next year.
While those are familiar names to people in tune with Philadelphia hoops over recent years, another name on the Roman Catholic roster is certain to become popular in the coming months. That name is Fortunate "Junior" Kangudi. Kangudi transferred to Roman Catholic this year from Montreal, Canada. He is a 6'7 forward just getting acclimated to playing ball in America.
I had a chance to speak with Roman Catholic head coach Chris McNesby about his new frontcourt player. First of all was the matter of the name. His name is Fortunate "Junior" Kangudi, although most websites and online resources list him as Junior Fortunat. Kangudi did not have a high school team in Montreal, so he instead focused on AAU and travel team ball. McNesby said that Kangudi's strengths include athleticism and playing up-tempo, while an area in need of improvement is his shooting range beyond the free throw range.
As of now, Kangudi is receiving recruiting interest from some A10 and MAAC schools. One of the schools already keeping tabs on the developing big man is Saint Joseph's. Coach McNesby said that it is difficult to project exactly what level Kangudi is capable of playing at because he has only played, literally, one high school game in America. In that game, against Coatesville, Kangudi had ten points. McNesby said that the work ethic and desire are there for Kangudi to be successful. As coaches get a chance to see Kangudi, and as he gets comfortable playing organized basketball, recruiting interest is sure to pick up.
Prior to ending up at Roman Catholic, Kangudi was slated to play this season at LeBron James' alma mater, Akron Saint Vincent Saint Mary. He actually played AAU ball for the Ohio Basketball Club and coach Ken Taylor. In an article linked below, Taylor had this to say about Kangudi. "Junior’s upside is crazy. He has great length, athleticism, and a 42-inch vertical. Athletically he is a professional, and that you can not teach. He is not afraid to mix it up inside, likes to talk and throw some elbows every now and again."
As of now, the Hawks have been linked with a number of bigmen in the class of 2011. Among those are Academy of the New Church's Malcolm Gilbert, Paterson Catholic's Derrick Randall, and Pennwood's Shawn Oakman. It looks like Kangudi can be added to that list. He is certainly a name worth keeping an eye on over the coming year.