Jagan Mosely was going to face a tough decision when making his choice for a future college. An academic standout at St. Anthony where he plays basketball and has a good chance of being his class valedictorian, Mosely was going to take his 4.2 grade point average and high Scholastic Aptitude Test scores to the Ivy League to either Princeton or Harvard.
But as he was playing AAU basketball in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, Mosely, a member of the Hudson Reporter All-Area First Team last year as a junior, was noticed by the Georgetown coaching staff, headed by John Thompson III.
Right there and then, the recruiting of the 6-foot-3 do-everything Mosely took a dramatic turn toward Washington, D.C.
“They were the last school to come visit me,” Mosely said. “But when I first spoke on the phone with Coach Thompson, I knew that they were very serious. I started to think about it and realized that it was a good fit for me. It’s a school with a great basketball tradition.”
Last week, Mosely and his parents went on an official visit to Georgetown, where Thompson personally took them around campus.
“He spent about nine hours with the coaches there,” said St. Anthony Hall of Fame head coach Bob Hurley. “Then Coach Thompson called me to let me know how much he enjoyed Jagan’s visit.”
The visit and the care that Thompson displayed was the deciding factor, as Mosely officially declared his intentions to attend Georgetown and sign a national letter of intent there when Mosely can in November.
“That showed me that he had so much interest in me,” said Mosely, who averaged 13 points per game last season for the 28-2 Friars. “It sealed the deal. I don’t think he would have spent so much time with me on campus unless he really wanted me.”
In Friar tradition, Mosely made his decision known long before the start of the season. Hurley would rather have his players get the college choice process out of the way so his players could concentrate on basketball.
‘It is a big relief for me,” Mosely said. “I can now focus on basketball and try to help my team to the T of C [Tournament of Champions]. Georgetown is a school where I can have a good balance of academics and basketball.”
“He’s a very bright kid,” Hurley said of the Jersey City native. “The choices he had were very good, but this happened so quickly. The feeling was everything was so right. It has to be right on both ends. When it does work out like this, it does make you feel good.”
Ironically, one of the schools that were heavily recruiting was the University of Rhode Island, where Dan Hurley, the son of the legendary Friars coach, is the head coach. In the end, Georgetown won out.
“He has family in the D.C. area,” the elder Hurley said. “He liked Rhode Island. Georgetown is a great school with a great basketball program.”
Mosely’s older brother, former Friar Cheddi, is a player at Boston University, which was doing its due diligence in recruiting Jagan as well.
“When Harvard was recruiting Jagan, there was some talk of having both kids in the Boston area,” Hurley said. “That would have been interesting to the family. But what’s best for one might not be best for the other.”
“I had the chance to play two years with him in high school,” Hurley said. “But he’s on his own at BU. I think my family is happy for the both of us. This is a dream come true.”
When Mosely heads to Georgetown, he will join former Hudson Catholic standout Reggie Cameron, a sophomore with the Hoyas who was the 2012-13 Hudson Reporter Player of the Year….
It was sad to read the news that former Union City standout receiver/defensive back Daiquan Kelly was dismissed from Penn State after only two weeks of practice with the Nittany Lions. Penn State said that Kelly was dismissed “for violation of team rules,” but it was not revealed the extent of what Kelly did to get his pink slip from Happy Valley.
Just three days after the dismissal at Penn State, Union City head coach Wilber Valdez announced that Kelly will transfer to the University of Massachusetts. Kelly, who initially gave a verbal commitment to Syracuse only to switch to Penn State when the program had a scholarship open up, will redshirt this year at UMass and will not lose any eligibility because of the incident.
Valdez would not comment on the reasons Kelly was kicked out of Penn State, other than “making immature decisions…some freshman growing pains and Daiquan has to live with it.”
Valdez reiterated that Kelly was not involved in any criminal activity. “He’s not a bad person or malicious person committing crimes,” Valdez said. “He gets this shot at UMass and he will be fine.”…
Two local sports icons announced their retirements recently after spending more than four decades at their respective places of employment.
First, Harvey Zucker, who spent 43 years working for the Jersey Journal, many of those years as the sports editor, was basically forced to retire by the organization a few weeks ago. Zucker was a mainstay at the Jersey Journal and led that sports department through a glorious time during the 1980s and ‘90s, when the paper covered Hudson County sports like a blanket.
The paper has undergone several changes and cutbacks in recent years, but it’s a shame that a loyal son like Zucker didn’t get a chance to go out on his own terms.
Zucker, who also headed the old Jersey City Recreation Stars of Tomorrow baseball program during its heyday, taking a bunch of Jersey City kids all over the globe to play baseball, should be lauded for his loyalty and his dedication to the paper for what seemed like forever.
Also, Joseph “Jay” Sticco announced that he retired after 48 years of working for the North Bergen Recreation Department. The affable Sticco, now a robust 85 years old, served the township in a variety of duties, including president of the North Bergen Little League, vice-president of the Pop Warner football program, coach in both organizations and a public relations aide for the department.
It’s sad to think of North Bergen Recreation without two of the founding fathers of the great Pop Warner football program, namely Sticco and John “Digger” O’Dell, who passed away in February.
Sticco was always a major help in this corner in terms of getting information for this column. It’s astounding to see two loyal soldiers step aside almost simultaneously. Best wishes to both Zucker and Sticco in whatever they choose to do in retirement.
In closing, condolences to the wonderful Keating family of Weehawken, who lost their patriarch, former Weehawken councilman Edward Keating, last week. The 84-year-old Keating was a three-term councilman in the township and was a beloved soul, known for his Irish tam o’shanter and walking stick that he was seen with around town.
In his heyday, Keating was a standout baseball player in Jersey City and once had two hits in a Build Better Boys game against famed New York Yankee pitcher Johnny Kucks, who won the deciding game for the Yankees in the 1956 World Series. He was a joy to be around at several Weehawken events over the years. His wife, Clara, also known as “Bunny” had just passed away in May, so the two are now reunited…–Jim Hague
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.