2005-07-15 / Sports

Darius Gabriel Looks For A New School And New Home

By Elio Velez

Derrick Gabriel looks to head to the basket at the ABCD Camp in Teaneck, New Jersey. Photo By Ravi Rozier. 
Derrick Gabriel looks to head to the basket at the ABCD Camp in Teaneck, New Jersey. Photo By Ravi Rozier. There are different purposes for the 200 players that are invited to attend the Reebok ABCD Camp at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Greg Oden and O.J. Mayo were two stars that didn’t need to do much to increase their status as the two of the top five players in the country.

Darius Gabriel was one player that has to impress just to find a school to attend in the fall. The 16 year old left Brooklyn’s Bishop Loughlin High School in June. Though he scored 12 points a game and started for most of the season, Gabriel says that his disagreements with head coach Khalid Green paved the departure from the catholic school.

Reebok kept their invitation and asked Gabriel to attend the five day camp as one of the top ranked underclassmen players in the country. ABCD camp was the first big test of his skills and Gabriel passed it with flying colors.

The sophomore led the entire camp in assists with 6 per game and was more than established point guards such as Christ the King’s Malik Boothe and Ohio State bound Mike Conley.

In a camp that at times breaks down to individual showboating in 5 on 5 games, Gabriel continued to key his game in distributing the rock to his teammates. With 9 and 11 assists in two games respectively, Georgia Tech, Iowa State and Illinois have called to keep tabs on him.

“I thought it was my best day. I’m disappointed. I lost by just one vote. I know I had a good camp,” Gabriel, who has been contacted by Iowa State, Georgia Tech, and Illinois said.

His assist totals wasn’t enough for Gabriel to earn a place in the underclassmen all star game. Though he says it was discouraging to not be appointed on to the roster even as Reebok officials assured him that Gabriel had a great camp.

Heading To Prep School

The list of top city players who transferred to prep schools throughout the country was noticed by many throughout the camp. Gabriel, whose older brother Derrick starred at Far Rockaway in 2003, wants to add his name to that list and not just for basketball.

Darius says that he’s leaning toward going to the new Boys To Men Math and English Academy in Chicago to escape the pressures of living in Rockaway, especially in Edgemere. There is sadness in Gabriel’s voice as he concluded that leaving the city is the best decision for him.

“People who don’t live here doesn’t understand where I come from. The area is very bad. When I leave in the morning, I have to wait for the gunshots to stop so I can head to the subway station,” Gabriel says.

“I’m ready. I have to be. It hurts me leaving my mother and father. They look out for me and without them it will be hard.”

It won’t be just basketball 24-7 if he does decide to choose Boys To Men or his second option, South Kent Prep in Connecticut. Once the decision his made, Darius will graduate in the class of 2008.

“I need to get an education. I got into some trouble with grades and girls. I wasn’t prepared for it. It’s still going to be a learning process for me,” Gabriel says.

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