Gary Payton II Expected to Commit Soon

Scott G. Winterton

After a season of JUCO under his belt, Gary Payton II (aka The Mitten) is expected to decide soon where he'll continue his college basketball career.

The son of Seattle SuperSonics legend and HOFer Gary Payton is expected to make a decision soon on where he'll continue his college basketball career.

After averaging 9 points and 6 rebounds per game as a freshman at Salt Lake Community College, the younger Payton is transferring and moving on to a bigger scene. He has narrowed his choices down to Utah, St. Mary's, Seton Hall, Colorado State, and and his dad's Alma mater, Oregon State.

The Oregonian spoke to Payton II about his trip to OSU, his dad's influence, and other things recently in an article:

The sophomore visited OSU with his parents late last month. He watched the football team fall to Stanford, toured the new basketball practice facility and listened to the coaching staff's pitch.

The elder Payton, who has voiced his desire in recent years to help Beavers recruiting, played the role of supportive dad. The OSU great offered advice, hardly nudging his son in any direction.

"He hasn't been pushing," Payton II said. "He just wants to make sure that wherever I go, I'm happy and comfortable to be there."

For those of you who haven't heard of or seen Payton II play at the college or high school level, he is 6'3" and around 180 pounds can play both guard positions. He has hops, for sure, and you'll never guess what part of his game he is most know for - his defense, even donning a nickname similar to his dad's as he calls himself "The Mitten".

Coming out of high school, Payton II didn't meet the NCAA's academic eligibility requirements. He attended Westwind Prep School in Arizona, and then last year attended SLCC where he averaged 9.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.9 steals per game as a freshman guard.

Here is his freshman highlight tape from SLCC:

What I noticed most about Payton II in this highlight tape is his ability to get inside for rebounds and put-backs. For someone his size it doesn't sound like an easy task, but Payton II makes it look effortless.'s Brad Winton called Payton II "one of the better rebounding guards in the country." and in this tape, it shows.

Payton II is expected to make a decision the early signing period which runs between Nov. 13th through the 20th.

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