Ater Majok is the rare player in the modern hoops era who thought long and hard about the NBA before arriving on a college campus. Majok graduated from the American International School in Australia before heading stateside. Before he made his debut at Connecticut, the much-heralded Majok had to sit out thanks to eligibility issues, and before the 2009-10 season considered a jump to the NBA.
A year later, it's a good thing Majok didn't make that jump. The Sudanese-born forward didn't live up to his recruiting hype. Instead, he struggled to get on the court, did little once he was there (averaging 2.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 14.6 minutes per game) and overall contributed little -- or perhaps too much -- in what turned into a disappointing, disjointed Huskies season.
Which is why it's probably good Majok isn't thinking about the NBA at all anymore. Rather, in an interview with the Hartford Courant's Mike Anthony, Majok said he "didn't envision a scenario" that would cause him to leave school early, including finding a professional team in Australia. On the contrary, Majok seems locked in.
"Everything is good," he said. "Everything is settled down. I know what's next. I can relax, work and get ready for the season." [...] Majok added, "It's been a crazy road but the road is getting smoother now. I'm here. I've got three more seasons ahead of me. I just have to keep working hard."
Huskies fans couldn't ask for a much better attitude than that.
Majok was a late arrival in 2009-10, only getting eligible in December, and he never really seemed to get his bearings. But it's worth remembering that the forward was a highly touted recruit -- ranked in the top five at his position by many recruiting services -- when he signed with Jim Calhoun in 2008. The talent, however raw, is there. It will be interesting to see if Majok, settled and focused after a long path to the college ranks, finally gets around to utilizing it.