The New Southern California Basketball
SoCalHoops College Recruiting News Report

Leon Brisport Not Quite A Ram Yet.
He Signed, But His Father Hasn't--(April 17,1998)

Some people have reported that Leon Brisport (6'-9" So. PF) who averaged 22.5 points and 8 rebounds this season for Los Angeles Valley Community College has signed with the University of Rhode Island.

That's only a half correct statement though.

It's true that Brisport himself has signed his Letter of Intent. But because the NCAA requires that a player's parent or legal guardian consent and sign the letter also, and because Leon's father has refused so far to give his consent, the "signing" isn't official yet, and URI has not received the letter. That's why if you check out the URI official website, you won't find anything there about his signing with the team. Under NCAA rules, a team is not permitted to announce a signing unless and until the letter is received.

So what's up? Well, it seems that with the reports in the media in the last few days that Harrick will leave URI to coach the Clippers, Brisport's father is taking a wait-and-see attitude. Both Harrick and the Clippers have denied such reports.

Nevertheless, the Providence Journal reported today that URI is "close to signing"

Brisport, who is from Brooklyn, N.Y., also told Newsday, a New York newspaper, that he already has signed with URI. Newsday reports that the reason he chose URI over Colorado and DePaul, the other schools he has visited, was to be closer to home and closer to his mother, Linda Brisport, who was charged with murder on Feb. 22 in connection with the death of a 23-month-old foster child in her care. "Being closer to home, I think I'll be able to deal with that a little better,'' he told Newsday .

Brisport, who visited URI last weekend, said he also would like the chance to play for coach Jim Harrick. However, reports that Harrick might be under consideration to coach the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers apparently are holding up Brisport's signing from becoming official.

Leon Brisport is a late-bloomer. He was not a top player when he attended Erasmus High in Brooklyn, and wasn't a starter when he began pay at L.A. Valley. However, he has gained more than 50 pounds since leaving high school, and now weighs 225. Although he still is not among the top prospects, Brisport's upside is that he continues to improve. A number of strong Division I programs have recruited him. Providence College, Washington, Oregon and Tulane all were involved at some point. Colorado, which Brisport visited earlier, had been thought to be the leader.

However, Brisport obviously liked what he saw at URI last weekend, and apparently has signed a national letter of intent with the Rams. If his father signs, he will become a Ram.

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