James Southerland, a 6-foot-7 combo forward from Cardozo High School in Bayside, New York, is currently still set to play for head coach Ron Naclerio in the 2007-2008 season. It is supposed to be Southerland's senior year at Cardozo though there is a chance James could be reclassified to 2009.
"Right now James is supposed to come back to Cardozo," Naclerio said today in a phone interview. "I am hoping we have him. He is a player that if he works hard can be a very good college basketball player."
Southerland spent some of his time in July competing for Bob Rizzo's highly successful Westchester Hawks AAU program. James came to the Hawks midway through Westchester's run during the 17 and under Super Showcase held inside the Milk House at the Wide World of Sports complex.
At times, James looked like he needed more time to get to know his new teammates. But Southerland did play a key part in helping the Hawks win a playoff game in the Super Showcase. He has a soft touch from the outside and when willing to mix it up around the basket he can score too.
"James has a lot of talent," Naclerio said. "It's why Syracuse liked him so much."
Southerland has already given a commitment to Jim Boeheim's basketball program. It's likely Southerland will spend the next two years on the high school and prep level preparing himself for the rigors of the Big East Conference. So far it looks like this year will be spent in Bayside, New York.