ESPN's Adam Finkelstein writes in his basketball recruiting blog today about a potential hidden gem in one of the northernmost parts of the United States. In Lee, Maine, a town of 845 just 60 miles northeast of Bangor, 6-foot-9 Venezuelan import Anthony Joseph Perez Cortesia is honing his skills at Lee Academy, and has the potential to rise quickly on the Class of 2012 radar.
His size and fluidity immediately caught my attention, but once he started raining 25-footers with a silky smooth stroke I felt a little like Don Nelson must have the first time he laid eyes on Dirk Nowitzki.
The fact that Cortesia then went on to handle the ball in the open floor, make dribble pull-ups, show phenomenal footwork and pass off the dribble was simply icing on the cake. By the time the workout was finished I came away convinced that I had just seen one of the best kept secrets in the country.
That isn't to say that Cortesia doesn't have work to do because he certainly does. He needs to add a significant amount of muscle to his frame, play stronger with the ball, establish a position for himself defensively and adjust to the speed and physicality of the American game.
Having said all that, they don't make many 6-9 kids who can come close to matching his skill set, length and innate feel for the game.
Be sure to check out Finkelstein's blog here.