Upper Room's Purvis chooses Louisville

Guard going to Louisville

Staff WriterDecember 12, 2010 

Rodney Purvis has been compared so often to NBA standout John Wall it shouldn't be surprising that Purvis is headed to Kentucky, too, although in Purvis' case it is the state, not the university.

Purvis, a 6-foot-3 junior point guard at Upper Room Christian Academy, committed this weekend to the University of Louisville.

Wall, a similarly sized point guard at Word of God Christian, played one year at the University of Kentucky before being the first player chosen in this year's NBA Draft.

Wall said he chose Kentucky because he wanted to play for coach John Calipari. Purvis wants to play for Rick Pitino.

Both looked at area Atlantic Coast Conference schools and decided to leave the area.

"I wanted to get out and meet new people," Purvis said. "I wanted to know people in different places for after my time in basketball. I want to build relationships."

Purvis said he knew weeks ago after making an unofficial visit that he wanted to go to Louisville.

"My mind was made up about three weeks ago when I visited Louisville," Purvis said Saturday. "I just waited awhile to make sure I didn't change my mind."

Purvis has been sensational this season, averaging more than 30 points per game on an Upper Room team that has only freshmen and sophomores except for him.

"My average is coming down some," he said Saturday. "I'm getting double- and triple-teamed a lot now."

Purvis was a top Atlantic Coast Conference recruiting target and had offers from most ACC teams. He had seriously considered schools such as Duke, N.C. State, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Memphis, Michigan, Xavier and Baylor before making his announcement.

He said the University of North Carolina had been showing interest recently, attending a couple of his games in the last few weeks.

But after visiting Louisville, Purvis said he knew he wanted to play there for Pitino.

"My mind was made up by then," he said. "Everything fit together well."

Purvis already had a relationship with Louisville assistant coach Tim Fuller, a former Wake Forest player who joined Pitino's staff this spring. Purvis plays with the CP3, a club team based in Winston-Salem that is sponsored by Chris Paul, who played at West Forsyth High when Fuller was an assistant there. Fuller also was on former coach Skip Prosser's staff at Wake Forest.

Purvis said he was close to the Louisville coaching staff. He said the school is committed to having a great program.

Purvis said he had a lot of work to do to be prepared to play at Louisville.

"I've got to work on playing the point better," he said.

Purvis had been rated as the No. 2 player in the Class of 2013 before reclassifying this summer to the Class of 2012. He currently is ranked as the No. 8 player in the Class of 2012.

tim.stevens@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8910

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