Back in July, Notre Dame assistant coach Anthony Solomon gave Tom Knight a ring, expressing interest in the 6-foot-9, 260-pound forward from Dixfield, Maine.
“Coach Solomon gave me a call the week after AAU Nationals, and said he was from Notre Dame,” Knight began. “I had to ask him if Notre Dame is what he said, because I really didn’t believe it.
“I didn’t really believe it because I was getting recruited by mid-majors strictly, so Notre Dame jumping in, it was a whole new level.”
It was during the summer at the Reebok All-American camp and on the AAU circuit where Knight proved to himself, that he could play on that level.
“I realized the top players in the country weren’t much better than me,” Knight stated.
Not that Knight wasn’t hearing a lot of jokes from some of those same top players.
“Is Maine even in the United States, Maine can’t play,” Knight said.
Apparently, at least one player in Maine can play.
Knight has kept in touch with Solomon frequently since the summer, and coach Mike Brey every other week or so. The two were inside the Dirigo High gym to watch Knight work out a couple weeks ago.
With all the contact Knight has had with the Irish staff, he wasn’t nearly surprised about the scholarship offer from Notre Dame that he got two weeks ago, as he was when Solomon gave him a buzz back in the summer.
This weekend, Knight will see what Notre Dame has to offer on an official visit to South Bend. He and his father will arrive on Friday and leave on Sunday.
“I’ll be looking to see how I fit into the system, and how I feel and I fit in with the guys,” Knight said. “See if the school is what I’m looking for.”
Notre Dame will be Knight’s last official visit. He has already taken trips to Rutgers, Davidson, Maine and Northeastern, and will decide on one of the five programs next week.
“It’s got to have a promising future that we’re going to make it to the tournament and do well in the tournament, and that I’ll be one of the players that helps get our team to the tournament.”
This will actually be Knight’s second-ever trip to South Bend. When he was four, he stopped through with family while making a visit to Chicago to see his grandfather.
“They’ve got tradition,” Knight said. “Everyone in my area is big Notre Dame fans. I’ve been following Notre Dame since I was a kid. That’s one of the reasons why I’m taking this visit, because I’ve been watching them since I was a little kid.”
Last season, Knight averaged 17 points and eight rebounds per game, leading Dirigo High to the Western Maine Championship game, just one contest before the state finals.
Brey created quite a stir when he visited the school a couple weeks ago.
“I think he’s a good guy that tells you how he feels,” Knight said. “He’s not going to sugar coat anything.
“He says my game resembles (Luke) Harangody’s, so once he’s gone, I could fill in for him.”
Knight plans on signing somewhere in November. The Irish will already be getting letters-of-intent from Joey Brooks, Jack Cooley and Mike Broghammer. A good visit for Knight could add one more to the list.