Although the class won't be finalized for over a year, it's become clear that some key targets for the 2016 group have already emerged. While we have already profiled Payton Pritchard (read here) and Zach Collins (read here), there is a third prospect that is squarely on the Gonzaga radar.
Nolan Narain, a native of Canada, has a skill set and potential that caught the eye of the Gonzaga coaching staff this past summer. While he is now playing his prep basketball in the states at La Lumiere, it was his play in an AAU Tournament this summer that captivated the coaches.
"I would say it was late June or early July this past summer at an AAU Tournament in Indianapolis when they first got a chance to see him play live," explained David Narain, Nolan's father. "They'd seen video and they had chatted with his Canadian high school coach, but that was the first opportunity to see him live. Once they saw him, the offer came right after. Nolan's former head coach did a good job of reaching out and making contact. He started the interest with Gonzaga and then it took off when they watched him play."
The highly-skilled big man recently made the move to La Lumiere, one of the elite prep schools in the country. It was a decision the family thought was best for this future on the court.
"He has been a big fish in a small pond up here," David said. "Going into his junior year of high school, we wanted to test him and see where he stacked up against the best. From a basketball perspective, it was a desire to go play against the best and to compete and practice against guys his size and ability. In the states, there are a lot more kids his size and going to a school like La Lumiere is a new challenge."
Not surprisingly, Gonzaga's track record with elite Canadian talent is something that the family has noticed and been impressed by.
"It bring comfort to the situation. Knowing they have been down this path before and have had success, it definitely brings a lot of comfort."
With Nolan just moving to the states, there haven't been many opportunities to visit other schools. However, that could change after January 1, when Nolan can begin to take official visits.
"We haven't done any basketball unofficial visits," David confirmed. "We are big sports fans as a family so we have gone to various universities to take in a football game. If we happen to be driving to an AAU Tournament, we will pull off and check out the school to see the campus."
"We don't have any visits planned as of yet. We have started talking about that and we are aware that official visits can start to occur as of January 1st, so we are going to start formulating a list soon."
While the visits might be coming soon, the family does have criteria that will be key in the decision-making process.
"We definitely have a list of a Top 10 schools that we are dialed into and that list is based on schools that have a high degree of interest in Nolan and a mold of high academic standards and graduation rates, along with a good basketball experience," emphasized David. "We want the ability for Nolan to leave his 4 years of university with a great experience and a degree. A combination of a great basketball experience and a degree is appealing to us. We are studying the schools to find which fit best into that group."