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Mainly, because they're afraid not to, Albert—afraid somebody else will get the drop on them. So, for the benefit of those recruiters who still feel they have reason to hope, here is some inside dope:
?If you're starting to doubt that Winston will act according to your wishes, Albert's parents are not your ace in the hole. Unlike many athletes his age, Albert is under no pressure from them to stay close to home so they can keep tabs on his career. Neither Thomas nor Thelma King had ever seen their son play before last year. When Albert went to the foul line to shoot a free throw during a recent game, Mr. King turned to Winston and said, "Why isn't anybody guarding him?"
? Albert is no dummy from Ghettoland. Report cards were passed out this week and he received an A in accounting and a B in earth science. No outlaw schools or jucos for this kid.
? Tennessee is not in the running. Albert is not happy about the difficulties Bernard has gotten into in Knoxville and is also worried that he will always be compared to his brother if he enrolls at any other SEC school.
? Albert has five official campus visits left according to NCAA regulations, having already been to Kansas State. He is sure that two of those visits will be to UCLA and Maryland. Arizona State may be a third.
?The NBA is not going to get Albert, at least not now. He received a strong pitch from the Buffalo Braves last year and has heard some unofficial overtures from the Los Angeles Lakers, but he is not seriously considering turning pro.
? UCLA Assistant Lee Hunt is the only coach in America Albert has allowed to meet his mother. Asked about the experience and about King's upcoming visit to California, Hunt replied, "This is a crucial kid for us. We'd really like to have Albert King. So please be careful what you say about us. Don't distort anything I've said. Please."
UCLA has successfully recruited scores of fabled high school players, including Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton, so if UCLA is saying "please," then you know how badly it wants Albert King. Which is to say, just as much as everyone else.