Men's Basketball Robert Upshaw

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Dec 6, 2006
Robert Upshaw, a prized Fresno-area basketball recruit, faces big decision
With Kansas State coach's departure, Memorial basketball star must weigh options.
By Andy Boogaard - The Fresno Bee
Ceylon Sherman had an intuition four months ago about "Big Rob," her 7-foot baby.
"Just in case something came up," said the mother of Memorial High basketball star Robert Upshaw.

It did.

"But, honestly, I never thought this would come up," said Sherman, referring to coach Frank Martin's decision this week to leave Kansas State for South Carolina.
Upshaw committed to Kansas State on Nov. 14, but conditionally.

As opposed to signing a binding national letter of intent -- common practice for high school recruits -- Upshaw followed Mom's caution and signed an athletic aid agreement.

That bound Kansas State to provide him with a scholarship while freeing him all along to change his mind and go elsewhere without losing a year of eligibility, per NCAA rules.
But he said Tuesday he didn't consider exercising that option until now -- not that he knows what he's going to do.

He doesn't, other than he said he won't follow Martin to South Carolina.

"It's going to take some time to process," said's nationally 15th-ranked center, who had included Fresno State, Georgetown and Louisville in his original final four. "It's a big deal where I'm going, so I'm not going to make a quick decision."
He didn't dismiss the idea of remaining with Kansas State. Nor did he suggest at all that he's giving any more consideration to Fresno State, which he clearly "wasn't comfortable with" in the fall.

But he stands behind this: "I'm really glad what my mom did -- I'm not stuck; I'm in a good situation."


"I'm a little concerned because I had three years to figure it out before," he said, "and now I have to do the right amount of research and develop new relationships with coaches in a matter of days. That's going to be a challenge."

He said maybe he learned a lesson in the first go-around: "I made a choice with my heart, but I didn't ask coaches how long they planned on staying. Now I know those are steps I have to take; I need to get to know the coach more."

Meanwhile, Upshaw is preparing to leave next week for Paris, where he will represent the United States in a 22-under international tournament.

"I've got other things to focus on now," he said. "And I've got school to finish. I haven't had any contact with other coaches, and I'm not sure when I will. This has caught me off-guard."

While many upper-tier college programs no doubt have filled their scholarship allotments for next season, Memorial coach Pat Geil said he's not concerned with Upshaw's opportunities.

"Judging by my [cellular phone] call log, there are plenty of schools," he said, laughing. "They'll find room for Rob, definitely. I still think there will be a nice selection."
Upshaw averaged 21.6 points, 13.8 rebounds, 5.2 blocks and 3.1 assists for a 23-9 Memorial team that captured the Central Section Division II championship and reached the quarterfinals of the Southern California Regional.

The athlete who began his prep career at Edison first established a list of nine favorites in August. And that included Arizona, Maryland, Oklahoma State, UNLV and USC.

His mother said Tuesday that she's always had reservations with him leaving the state, in part, because family might go with him.

"He's a California baby," she said, "and that was my biggest concern. I knew going to the Midwest, the Mideast, the South, would be a drastic change for him, and if we decided to go, too."

Hence, her decision to avoid the letter of intent.

"I didn't want Rob obligated to anybody but himself."


A/V Subscriber
Feb 7, 2007
South Carolina
That article makes it sound like he's looking for a coach that can offer stability and that the coach will be w/ a school for the forseeable future. Maybe Ford can tell this kid about how his contract guarantees he'll be around for awhile? :)