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Bradley leaves Bellarmine, has not picked new school

Post by Doug Pacey / The News Tribune on Aug. 29, 2008 at 11:15 am with 1 Comment »
August 29, 2008 11:15 am

"Fire and Ice" has lost its flame.

Avery Bradley will not return to Bellarmine Prep for his senior year.

"He’s a fine young man and a great basketball player," said Bellarmine Prep athletic director Ed Ploof. "We wish him well."

Bradley, one of the nation’s most sought-after recruits, has not enrolled at a new school, said Garry Ward, the coach of Bradley’s AAU team, the Northwest Panthers.

Ward said Bradley is considering schools that will help him "reach his goal of being academically eligible to play in college as a freshman."

"There is some research going on," Ward said, "into seeing what school will most benefit Avery in addressing his academic concerns."

Ward said a school would likely be chosen "next Tuesday or Wednesday."

Rainier Beach athletic director Dan Jurdy dispelled rumors that Bradley had enrolled at the Seattle powerhouse.

"If he’s coming," Jurdy said late Friday afternoon, "it’s news to me."

Bellarmine Prep coach Bernie Salazar said it was difficult to see Bradley leave the Lions program.

"We really enjoyed coaching and teaching him," Salazar said. "It’s sad any time you have a player leave."

Salazar gave the Lions’ duo of Bradley, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, and point guard Abdul Gaddy the "Fire and Ice" moniker. Bradley earned the "fire" description for his intense, emotional play.

Had Bradley returned to Bellarmine Prep for his senior season, the Lions would have had once of the best backcourts in state history. Gaddy and Bradley are each considered among the top 15 recruits in the country.

Bradley helped Bellarmine Prep to the Class 4A state semifinals last winter. The Lions placed third in the tournament, their best finish at state since 1980 and a 25-4 record. He led the South Sound in scoring with 25.7 points per game. He was a first-team all-state selection and an all-area selection by The News Tribune for the second straight season.

Bradley has seen his stock rise this summer after playing exceptionally against players of his caliber at tournaments across the country and in Brazil., a recruiting Web site, has him rated as the eighth-best prospect in the nation. He has received scholarship offers from Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Texas, UCLA, USC, Washington and others. He has not yet revealed a favorite.

Before he left two weeks ago to play in Brazil for the Nike Elite Youth team, he told The News Tribune that he would make his official visits soon.

"I’m going to take my visits during the college football season," Bradley said. "That way I can experience the atmosphere of college."

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