When a college basketball legend has a son who reached 4-star recruiting status, there’s a natural assumption that he may follow his father’s footsteps. From the very beginning. Jamal Mashburn insisted that wouldn’t be the case with his son, Jamal Mashburn Jr., calling himself, “the navigation in the car, not the engine.” Apparently he was true to his word.
Mashburn Jr. committed to Minnesota on Columbus Day, according to 247Sports. Mashburn Jr.’s decision does still have at least one connection to his father’s decision in the 90s: Minnesota’s coach Richard Pitino is the son of Rick Pitino, the coaching legend who steered the elder Mashburn to the Final Four at Kentucky.
“It’s a great opportunity there for me to flourish and for me to win which is a big part of my character and who I am,” Mashburn Jr. told 247Sports.
“(The Pitino family connection is) a factor but it’s not as big of a factor that people think because at the end of the day Richard is recruiting me, he’s not recruiting my father who already played in the NBA. We have a good relationship there as far as a family standpoint but as far as just that being a big factor, I wouldn’t say that it’s a big factor.”
“I had a gut feeling that I was supposed to be there, that’s where I wanted to play at and that’s where I wanted to be,” Mashburn Jr. told 247Sports. “I built a great relationship with Richard [Pitino] and a great relationship with the coaching staff and I fit with what they’re trying to do and I fit in to what I’m trying to do which is trying to be a professional basketball player.”