Bradley officially commits to Kentucky

November 11, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

Ramel Bradley couldn't keep the news to himself any longer and finally announced Monday that he would sign a basketball scholarship with the University of Kentucky this week.

Bradley started his press conference in Bradenton, Fla., in a way that probably endeared him to UK fans.

"They say that the sun always shines here in Florida, but I don't think that the sun shines any brighter than at My Old Kentucky Home. I have decided to attend the University of Kentucky and play basketball for coach Tubby Smith and the Kentucky Wildcats," Bradley said.

The 6-3 Bradley is rated among the nation's top two guards, but is projected as a possible point guard as well at Kentucky. He averaged 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists per game last year in New York City before transferring to IMG Pendleton Academy in Florida for his final season.

He made his official visit to Kentucky Oct. 31-Nov. 2 and several UK sources said he told Smith then that he would play for the Cats. He had hinted that he was also considering Boston College and Georgia, but he did not take an official visit to either school.


"I just like the Kentucky program. I'm an intense guy and you have to be intense in that program to play for coach Smith," Bradley said. "I think I can fit right in. I think I could help make an impact my freshman year."

Kentucky loses three perimeter players - Cliff Hawkins, Gerald Fitch and Antwain Barbour - to graduation this year. Transfer Patrick Sparks from Western Kentucky will be eligible next season and Kentucky also will sign West Virginia high school guard Adam Williams this week.

"I consider myself a point guard more than anything else," Bradley said. "I will play anywhere that coach Smith wants, but point guard is where I prefer playing. I think I can blend in fine with Patrick. He's a versatile player, just like I am."

Pendleton Academy coach Mike Moreau says Bradley's intangible qualities are as good as his statistics.

"When he's playing, good things just happen," Moreau said. "He just has that intensity and will to win that you want no matter what the situation is. I don't think there's any doubt that he can help Kentucky win."

Kentucky is also still in the running for Detroit guard Joe Crawford, who has narrowed his choices to UK and Michigan. He's now indicating he'll make a decision within the next week.

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