By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
It isn’t very often that an athlete gets to train directly with one of his idols.
Iowa State’s latest 2012 basketball commitment, Nazareth Long, is a lucky guy.
Long, a 6-foot-3 point guard out of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada committed to Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg during his official visit on Saturday night. Long plans to arrive on Iowa State’s campus for the second semester of the 2011-12 season and when/if that happens, Michigan State transfer Korie Lucious has a job to do. That’s groom Long as Iowa State’s potential point guard of the future.
“He is a prime time point guard and a I idolize him in a lot of aspects,” Long told CycloneFanatic.com on Saturday evening. I’ll learn from him and hopefully by the time I am a sophomore, I’ll be able to lead the team as a point guard.”
Long grew up as a big time fan of the Michigan State Spartans.
“I used to watch Korie,” said Long. “He handles the ball as good as anybody I have seen. He shoots the ball well. He’s a good teammate. He has a lot of character and I love the way that he carries himself.”
Long said that he is currently finishing up one class back home in Canada and that he plans to be eligible to play during the second semester of this year. Still, he doesn’t plan to play this season for Iowa State.
“I will sit the year out and work with Korie Lucious and Tavon Sledge,” said Long. “I want to get better and get ready for next year.”
Sledge, a member of Iowa State’s 2011 recruiting class, is currently the only scholarship, eligible true point guard on its roster.
Long hails from the same AAU program as current Cyclone Melvin Ejim, the CIA Bounce. The two are good friends to this day. Long attended Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev. last year.
Long took a visit to Rice last weekend and at that time, Dayton was also on his radar as a potential landing spot. Missouri, Creighton and Miami were also reportedly interested.
“For some reason, this gym kept bringing me back in here,” said Long of Iowa State. “I just feel like I will be here for a long time. Coach Hoiberg runs his team like a professional team. It’s something that I just want to be a part of.”
Iowa State’s associate head coach T.J. Otzelberger was Long’s lead recruiter.
With his commitment, Long joins Georges Niang, Nkereuwem Okoro and Sherron Dorsey-Walker as the fourth known member of Iowa State’s 2012 recruiting class. College basketball’s early signing period begins on Nov. 9.