As someone reporting on recruiting, it can be a bit frustrating, but as someone who does enjoy seeing a kid in the spotlight getting the guidance that he desperately needs, you have to appreciate a parent who shields their child from the media and keeps the recruiting process exactly what it is: a family decision. Cindy Richardson is the epitome of that parent and, despite her child’s ranking as the #1 recruit in his class and probably the #1 recruit in the nation, she has allowed him to preserve his status as a high school kid.
When Richardson returned my call late last night she first reminded me of just how cordial and polite she can be, a quality that has obviously been passed down to her son, who never treats the media for what we truly are, a bunch of blood sucking scum. Instead he has gained a reputation for being one of the more approachable and polite recruits to talk with and, more often than not, addresses his questioner with a “Sir” or “Mr.” Another case of good parenting leading to good children.
It’s no secret that Gilchrist’s family has kept a tight lid on his recruitment and that’s due to their somewhat unique thoughts about what the process is. “It really is a family matter and something that we like to keep private,” Richardson said.
One not so private aspect of Gilchrist’s life has been his life on the court, especially the recent hearings about St. Patrick’s illegal practices and their subsequent barring for postseason play. Once again, Richardson and Gilchrist refrain from getting in the middle of all of that. When I asked her about whether that ruling would give any added fire to Gilchrist’s desire to win state his senior year, she said, “Right now he’s focusing on school. In fact he’s working on his homework right now. That’s what he’s focused on.”
Gilchrist has long been thought to be favoring Kentucky since Calipari’s arrival and that stems from an early statement by Gilchrist long ago that he would love to play for Calipari. Since then there hasn’t been much more said about his leanings and if you’ve heard anything, it definitely didn’t come from the family. Whether there remains any truth to that statement is up for debate, but Kentucky fans only need just the smallest hint of approval to get their minds (and message boarding keyboards) running.
She did have a couple messages that she felt Michael would want to pass on to the UK fans. “He enjoyed the game,” she said, “he really enjoyed it. I will say that.” She also added a personal message from Michael. “Tell all the UK fans that Michael said hi.”
Next up for Gilchrist will be the AAU circuit, where he has little left to prove. He will have a huge target on his back with every ranked kid gunning for #1. With the amount of talent he has, it’s hard to believe there will be any changes to those rankings. Until after that AAU season is over, it doesn’t seem like much will change in terms of his recruitment. The same could probably be said for his family’s willingness to give out information about that recruitment, as a loving mother does her best to allow her budding superstar of a son enjoy the normal life for as long as possible.