Answers from the Elite 24 surveys


Whenever we’re about to do a broadcast at ESPN, the company has the players fill out questionnaires. Typically, the information you get back is straightforward, but there are always a few nuggets one can glean from the information that’s been gathered.

On Friday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU, we’ll broadcast the Elite 24 slam dunk contest. The next day, same time and same channel, we’ll bring you the game. Here are a few tidbits to think about:

Big-time bloodlines

We’ve touched on it before but you can’t repeat it enough. ESPN 60 SF Andrew Wiggins (Toronto/Huntington Prep) is the son of a former Canadian gold-medal winning women’s sprinter and his father played in the NBA.

Think long and hard about this one: ESPN 100 PF Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) is still 16 years old. He doesn’t turn 17 until the middle of next month. Yikes, this kid has plenty of room to improve and the time to do it. His father played at San Diego State and made it to the CBA. Most impressive of all is that he intends to major in environmental chemistry.

Rashad Vaughn (New Hope, Minn./Robbinsdale Cooper) has the clutch gene. Not too many guys can put on their resume that they hit the buzzer beater in the state title game. Vaughn can. He’s related to Rodney Williams, who plays for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Justise Winslow (Houston/St. John’s) said in his bio sheet that he’s only been playing hoops for four years. His father was a member of Phi Slamma Jama at Houston and was drafted by the Bulls. He listed NFL tight end Kellen Winslow as a relative.

Wisconsin pledge Riley Dearring (Minneapolis/Minnetonka) is related to NBA wing Caron Butler.

Did you know that Jabari Bird’s (Richmond, Calif./Salesian) dad played at California and then in Europe? Bird has the Golden Bears high on his list too. That’s all well and good but what scares me is that Bird wants a career in journalism.

Wayne Selden (Boston/Tilton School) has a famous cousin. Ramon Sessions sets the bar in his family.

What makes them unique

Future Kansas PG Conner Frankamp (Wichita, Kan./North) didn’t turn 17 until July 16. In what may be a first in music history, Frankamp listed Taylor Swift and Drake as his favorite singer/band.

Back to back state titles aren’t enough for small forward Rondae Jefferson (Chester, Pa./Chester). His career goal: brain surgeon.

Marcus Lee (Deer Valley, Calif./Antioch) listed Tim Duncan as his favorite player and the guy he’d most like to meet. His career goal: work for Google.

Talk about a kid going places. Washington PG commit Nigel Williams-Goss (Las Vegas/Findlay Prep) has an interesting hobby. It’s learning about high-end real estate. For a kid who hit the game-winning shot in the NHSI championship game last March, you can already see his caviar tastes!

In case you were wondering, Meek Mill is the hottest rapper these days and LeBron James was listed more than anyone else as their favorite NBA player. The favorite actor of the guys: Denzel Washington. Excellent choice, fellas.