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Recruiting: St. Petersburg guard Gabriel Moton views offers through academic lens

St. Petersburg guard Gabriel Moton, center, has two offers and interested parties that include the Ivy League’s Cornell.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times (2008)

St. Petersburg guard Gabriel Moton, center, has two offers and interested parties that include the Ivy League’s Cornell.

Every now and then, someone asks St. Petersburg guard Gabriel Moton if he is related to the former Florida Gators basketball standout with the similar last name.

The answer, Moton said, is "No."

Despite that, a writer who apparently didn't notice the names aren't even spelled the same, reported last year that Andrew Moten, a Gator in the mid 1980s, was his father.

"That was funny," Moton said.

Coincidentally, the two actually have similar games.

Like Moten, who was a few inches shorter, the Green Devils' 6-foot-2 senior guard is a player who can score both inside and out, handles the ball well and typically beats defenders with his quickness. He leads St. Petersburg, which lost 64-49 to Orlando Dr. Phillips on Saturday in the Class 6A region finals, by averaging 22 points a game.

Several college programs have recognized Moton's skills.

Two of them, Tennessee-Martin and Tennessee Tech, have offered him a scholarship. A handful of other Division I programs also are interested, notably Air Force, Army, Cornell, Denver, Eastern Kentucky and North Carolina Central.

Of that group, Moton favors Cornell and Denver.

The reason for that is simple, he said: "They're very strong academically."

As is Moton.

He carries a 3.6 grade-point average and scored 1150 on his SAT.

Cornell could be the program to watch during his recruitment. The Big Red has been the Ivy League's top team and is likely headed to the NCAA Tournament.

Cornell doesn't offer athletic scholarships, but …

"They told me if they offer, it would be a (financial) package," Moton said. "If your family household income is under $100,000 (a year), most of it is pretty much paid for."

Right now, recruiting has slowed a bit for him.

Moton said that's the case because the teams in contact with him are "in crunch time" of their respective seasons. Once that subsides, he expects everything to shake out. By April's spring signing period, his destination should be known.

"It's kind of exciting to see what it boils down to," Moton said.

SHORT STUFF: Robinson tennis standout Jay Evans, who plays in the No. 1 slot for the Knights, has decided to attend Piedmont (Ga.) College. … Sensational Blake point guard Andre Smith has his first offer, according to Yellow Jackets coach Winston Davis. It came from East Tennessee State, which has three locals on its roster — Sheldon Cooley (Plant), Lukas Poderis (Ridgewood) and Adam Sollazzo (Armwood). The 5-foot-9 junior also has drawn interest from UCF, Clemson and Mississippi. He averaged 19 points and 6.0 assists per game this season. … Alonso defensive end Anthony Chickillo, a highly touted rising senior, picked up offers last week from Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Southern California and Virginia Tech. Asked how many offers he now has, Chickillo admitted he had lost count. "I don't even know anymore," he said.

Recruiting: St. Petersburg guard Gabriel Moton views offers through academic lens 02/27/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 27, 2010 11:01pm]

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