Oregon, Arizona in Good Shape With Ashley

While his NBA counterparts are dealing with the looming lockout in New York City, Amar’e Stoudemire is in Chicago at his annual Nike Skills Academy.

Stoudemire is tutoring some of the top big men in the nation, including Brandon Ashley, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward who will attend Findlay (Nev.) Prep next season.

“We’re doing a lot of cool stuff,” Ashley, the No. 5 power forward in the Class of 2012 per Rivals, said Saturday by phone. “A lot of stuff on post moves and everything. He’s teaching us how to get through the pick-and-roll and how to defend it. A lot of simple stuff that’s going to take us a long way.”

Ashley, who runs with the powerful Drew Gooden Soldiers AAU program, is being courted by a Who’s Who of big-time colleges and says he plans to cut his list to five “as soon as I get back home.”

Asked who was recruiting him the hardest, he said, “Two schools close to home have been showing me the most love and recruiting me the hardest, and that would be Oregon and Arizona.”

Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner, two of Ashley’s former Soldiers teammates, are incoming freshman at Arizona, while another former teammate, Jabari Brown, will suit up for the Ducks.

“I’ve played with dudes all over the country,” Ashley said. “I can’t really say that them being there will affect my decision at all.”

Ashley said he made the move from Bishop O’Dowd in the San Francisco Bay Area to Findlay Prep, the national power, in order to “get ready for college.”

“Going to Findlay I’ll be playing top competition year round,” he said. “I’ll be challenged year round. Working out through practices with Anthony Bennett,Winston Shepard and Landen Lucas, I’ll just be playing good players year round and going harder.”

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