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April 21, 2013

Mission to delay Dastrup's college career

MORE: EYBL Los Angeles Friday

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. -- Day Two of EYBL Los Angeles was much like Day One: Hall of Fame head coaches strolling around, five-star athletes rattling rims and a whole lot of talent filling a small Southern California gym.

Dastrup makes big decision

Possibly the best 2014 big man on the West Coast, four-star center Payton Dastrup, won't play Division I college basketball until 2016.

It's not that he's in trouble or lacks the grades or is bouncing around prep schools. No, Dastrup has made a life-altering religious choice that will remove him from the game for two years straight out of high school.

"I'm Mormon," the 6-foot-9, 225-pound Cali Supreme center said. "I'm going to take my LDS mission. So right out of high school, I'll probably leave in the summer of 2014 and then I'll be gone."

It's a painstaking decision for many LDS athletes such as Dastrup. It's one that five-star 2013 prospect Jabari Parker wrestled with earlier this season.

"He chose not to go," Dastrup said, "but I'm choosing to take my mission."

Despite putting his basketball life on hold for two years out of high school, Dastrup said, he hasn't encountered one college that has a problem with his choice.

Florida, BYU, Virginia, Texas A&M and all of the Pac-12 except UCLA and Washington have extended offers, while Kansas, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Georgetown are showing serious interest.

Dastrup said not a single one minds his decision to take his LDS mission.

"That's one of the first questions I'll usually ask," Dastrup said. "I haven't run into any problems yet."

Dastrup will sign a letter of intent like every other recruit in his class, meaning a college decision is coming within the next few months -- even though he has no favorites at the moment.

"I'll sign everything, but I'll defer my scholarship for two years," Dastrup said. "So I'll be coming in as a freshman in 2016."

Rabb to take local visit

The best 2015 player in the nation is taking full advantage of his time in Los Angeles this weekend.

Five-star forward Ivan Rabb said once the EYBL Los Angeles session wraps up Sunday afternoon he'll be heading to Westwood to take a UCLA unofficial visit.

He said a USC trip is possible as well, but with the Bruins' new coaching staff extending him an offer a few days ago, he's intrigued by UCLA again.

"It's big," Rabb said of the offer. "The old coach offered me and the new coach offered me, too, so it shows they're interested in me."

Winslow earns big in-homes

In the span of just a few days this month, Justise Winslow's living room hosted some of college basketball's heaviest hitters.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, Florida coach Billy Donovan, UCLA coach Steve Alford and Arizona coach Sean Miller, plus some of their top assistants, made their way to Winslow's couch, and they made a big impression on him.

"All the coaches expressed something different that they were preaching to me," Winslow said. "They're all great. I got to see how they thought of me and keep building that relationship."

Still, Winslow said he's not ready to narrow anything down, even after the successful visits.

His list remains at 10 -- Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Florida, Houston, Kansas, North Carolina, Texas A&M, Stanford and UCLA -- although he said a trimming to four or five is coming in June or July.

Saturday tip-ins

2015 five-star Cali Supreme guard Aaron Holiday was excellent Saturday afternoon, aggressively attacking the basket and showing he's possibly the best 2015 guard on the West Coast. Still, shockingly, Holiday said no schools have offered him.

Four-star point guard Jordan McLaughlin revealed a top seven Saturday night: USC, UCLA, San Diego State, Indiana, Connecticut, Kansas and Gonzaga. He said he'll have an in-home with UCLA on Wednesday and likely will have one with Gonzaga on Thursday.

Five-star 2014 point guard Tyus Jones said he had in-home visits with Duke, Baylor, Ohio State and Michigan State last week, while Kansas is supposed to come next week.

Four-star 2014 point guard Justin Coleman said he's looking to narrow his list to five after the Peach Jam. "SEC schools and a couple ACC schools" are standing out to him most right now, he said.

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