Posted: 11:50 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013
By Brad Best
The Arizona Preps Fall Showcase has seen its share of talented basketball players in the last 15 years, including current NBA players Jerryd Bayless and Louis Ahmundson. Saturday night Zylan Cheatham chose this venue to announce his commitment to San Diego State men's basketball for the 2014-15 season. And, of course, the video is posted on his Twitter page.
Adding to the evening's intrigue, a Washington Huskies fan site prematurely posted (and since retracted) an article announcing Cheathman's choice was New Mexico. The Lobos appeared to have the upper hand to land Cheatham following the success of the Lobo Howl on October 18. It was attended by more than 10,000 fans who repeatedly chanted "We want Z! We want Z!" and waived signs with simply the letter "Z."
All three of Cheatham's finalist schools - New Mexico, San Diego State and Washington - sent their coaches to Phoenix earlier in the week for one last attempt to woo this 6-foot-8 ultra-athletic forward to join their program.
In the end, Cheatham said it was something that San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher said that helped him make his final decision. He said: "When you close your eyes and dream at night, where do you see yourself?" And the response upon reflection from Cheatham was: "When I was there on my visit, I never forgot that feeling I had. It felt like home. I just knew it was the right place for me."
While there is no yellow brick road leading to San Diego, top high school basketball recruits are finding their way and making it their new home. With the verbal commitment from Zylan Cheatham, the Aztecs have become just the sixth school to have commitments from three members of ESPN's top 100 prep basketball players for the class of 2014. They join Louisville, North Carolina, Ohio State, Georgetown and Maryland on this every exclusive list.
Cheatham is looking forward to playing with his fellow 2014 recruits Malik Pope, Trey Kell, Kevin Zabo and transfer Angelo Chol from the University of Arizona. He said: "I think we can do great things together. I think we can shock the world."
What will rabid basketball fans from New Mexico, Washington and San Diego State do now that they no longer need to stalk Cheatham on Twitter? Good thing basketball season starts soon.