San Diego Hoover High School has a history of mentoring athletes and preparing them for the next level as a scout and coach over the last two decades (Photo courtesy of Hoover High School)
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San Diego Hoover High School coach Ollie Goulston is intelligent and thorough enough to guide a touted prospect the right way in the recruiting process, not because he is an Ivy League grad, but he knows of the different elements that permeate youth basketball these days.
“My rule is there are no hangers-on allowed on the Hoover campus,” Goulston told me, bluntly, Monday night. “If that happens, the player is not on my team.”
Goulston, who played baseball at Dartmouth and later served as the San Diego Padres’ assistant director of scouting and player development from 1992-94, has taken on the responsibility of guiding his star player, Class of 2011 post player Angelo Chol, during the recruiting process.
Goulston said Chol, nor his father, who works in the meat packing business in San Diego, required him to provide help in gathering information about his primary suitors — Arizona, Washington, Alabama, Kansas and North Carolina. Goulston said he stepped in because he has two decades of experience with the scouting and recruiting phase, with the Padres and as a youth basketball coach.
Angelo Chol, a Sudan native who became a U.S. citizen last June, represented Team USA in the Youth Olympic Games last year in Singapore (Team USA photo)
“For the last 19 years I’ve been around players who have advanced to college, some to the NBA, so I am familiar with what this process is all about,” said Goulston, who coached Arizona senior Jamelle Horne at Hoover during his first season as head coach there in 2004-05, when Horne was a sophomore.
A public high school coach taking an interest in his star player’s future is somewhat of a throwback these days. Traveling-club coaches are becoming more instrumental in a player’s recruitment. Summer-time AAU tournaments have more relevance in terms of college coaches scouting top-flight competition than a high school state tournament.
That puts more influence in the hands of traveling-club coaches and others associated with them (i.e. shoe and athletic apparel representatives).
“I am very close with Angelo,” said Goulston, who toured the Arizona campus with Chol (6-9, 215) during an official visit last weekend. “This is a very important time for him. We’re in the information-gathering process. That’s where I can help.
“The only way he could make the best decision for his future is to gather all that information about every school. Some players don’t take the time to think things through and that’s why you’re seeing a lot of transfers because players are committing too early.”