If Abdul Gaddy and Avery Bradley get their way, the Bellarmine Prep pair will be basketball teammates after they graduate from high school.
Gaddy sent college basketball coaches scurrying to revive recruiting pitches when on Thursday The News Tribune’s All-Area Player of the Year withdrew his oral commitment to attend the University of Arizona. Gaddy, who is rated as the No. 2 point guard in the nation by Scout.com, and Bradley, a fellow junior and ranked as the No. 9 shooting guard, say they want to be a package deal.
"We’re perfect together," said Bradley, a 6-foot-2 senior-to-be. "No one can stop us."
The 6-foot-3 Gaddy said changes in Arizona’s coaching staff led him to back off his commitment. But he still could become a Wildcat.
"Arizona is still the front-runner," he said Friday evening, wearing an Arizona sweatshirt as he sat in the stands at Seattle’s Franklin High at the Quaker Summer Slam basketball tournament. "I’m giving them, along with some other schools, a chance to re-recruit me."
Gaddy and Bradley have their choice of schools. Every Pac-10 school, along with major programs Kansas, Texas, Memphis and others, have offered scholarships. Gaddy said he has not yet scheduled any official visits. Bradley said he has one so far and will visit the University of Texas in August. Bradley said he and Gaddy have not yet whittled their list of suitors to a few.
"We’re open to a lot of schools," he said. "We’re looking for the right fit for both of us."
Gaddy orally committed to Arizona on August 23, but much has changed in the Wildcats’ program since then. Longtime coach Lute Olson took a leave of absence for the 2007-08 season for undisclosed personal reasons, leaving assistant Kevin O’Neill the interim coach. When Olson resumed his position April, he said O’Neill would not be on his staff this season.
Two other assistants, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon, have also left. Pastner joined the staff at the University of Memphis earlier this month and the contract of Simon, who helped the Wildcats win the 1997 NCAA championship, was not renewed.
Gaddy and Bradley helped Bellarmine Prep to its best season in nearly three decades last winter. The Narrows League champions reached the Class 4A state semifinals and placed third in the state tournament. Bellarmine Prep finished with a record of 25-4.
Bradley, an all-state selection, led Class 4A in scoring, averaging 25.7 points per game, and his leaping ability helped him become a presence on the boards and block shots. Gaddy averaed 23 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals per game.
Gaddy was named Washington’s Gatorade state player of the year, becoming the first non-senior to earn the accolade in the 12 years. If he wins the award next year, he will be the first player in state history to get it twice.