NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- A frustrated
Suddenly, his phone buzzed with a text message direct from Staples Center. "I was about to go to bed," Austin said. "But mom said they were coming back. I turned it back on."
Austin, a silky smooth guard from Winter Park, Fla., missed what might have been the most exciting game of his father's coaching career. At that point, he had missed all but Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals because of a busy basketball schedule and the unexpected illness. So when the Celtics returned to Boston, he wasn't about to stay home. Austin watched his father reach the pinnacle of his sport when the Celtics throttled the Lakers in game six. Not long after the confetti fell, Austin made a decision about his own basketball destiny.
Though he can't sign a letter-of-intent until November 2010 and won't set foot on a college court until 2011, Rivers committed two weeks ago to play at Florida. Saturday, with Florida coach
The scuttlebutt around the Sunshine State is that the 6-foot-3 Austin may grow into a better player than Doc, who starred at Marquette and played 13 seasons in the NBA. Saturday, Austin was all over the court. If he wasn't draining a jumper, he was poking the ball away from his man and feeding teammate
Rivers said he had little trouble choosing the Gators. "It was a lot of reasons," he said. "For one, it was close to home. It's a good academic school. It's got a great facility. It's a great basketball school. I felt very comfortable there."
The head coach in the family gave his blessing, but Austin said Doc never pressured him to consider any particular school or coach. "He basically just said go with who I feel comfortable with," Austin said. "He loves Florida. He loves Coach Donovan and the staff."
The elder Rivers obviously doesn't mind Gainesville. He already sent his daughter there. Austin's sister,
Two of the nation's top point guard prospects in the class of 2010 spent Saturday morning canceling out one another, but one managed to shake the other long enough to shoot his team to a win. Team Texas guard
Saturday's loudest moment came when New York Gauchos forward
Baskin, a 6-foot-7, 190-pounder from Stamford, Conn., has offers from Auburn, Seton Hall, Virginia Tech, UMass and several others. He also has received interest from Arizona, UConn and Providence.