On the recruiting trail with Josh Pastner in Las Vegas

Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner takes in an AAU game at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas on July 27, 2017. Ken Sugiura/AJC

Will Richardson is the sort of player who could help return Georgia Tech to national prominence. A four-star point guard from Liberty County, Richardson has a knack for making things happen with the ball and, even when he tries and fails, for digging it out and trying again.

So it was that, last Thursday, as Tech coach Josh Pastner made his rounds to 16 AAU games over the course of the day, Richardson’s game at Spring Valley High was appointment viewing. Near the midpoint of his day, Pastner made sure to be in the gym for Richardson’s 2 p.m. game with his Florida-based AAU team, Each 1 Teach 1, taking a seat close to the sideline.

Pastner wasn’t there to evaluate; Tech has offered Richardson a scholarship and is recruiting him vigorously. Rather, Pastner just wanted to show Richardson his interest. And, during a stoppage in play, Pastner received validating feedback. In the corner of the floor nearest Pastner, Richardson made eye contact with the Tech coach and gave a slight nod. In the sometimes bizarre world of college basketball recruiting, that was a small win.

“He comes to a lot of my games, so I keep that in mind,” Richardson said.

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