Blazers' Telfair, GaTech's Hewitt dispute claims

ATLANTA -- Paul Hewitt on Wednesday disputed claims made in
a book that former recruit Sebastian Telfair was offered $250,000
by a Georgia Tech supporter to sign with the Yellow Jackets.

In Ian O'Connor's book "The Jump: Sebastian Telfair and the
High Stakes Business of High School Ball," Telfair claims he was
offered the money to attend a specific school.

In the book, Telfair says he was told by an unidentified man:
"'If you come to this school, you'll get paid. I'm talking
hundreds of thousands of dollars, $250,000.' And I was like, 'Oh

Telfair, now with the Portland Trail Blazers, never says in the
book that the offer came from Georgia Tech. Instead, the book says
"a person close to Telfair" said the offer came at a Georgia Tech
game in Atlanta from a man who said he represented Tech.

Speaking before the Trail Blazers' game against the New Orleans Hornets Wednesday night, Telfair denied the claim. "Georgia Tech
did not recruit me and never spoke to me. That's a false statement
and I have no further comment," he said.

Hewitt, Georgia Tech's coach, said Wednesday he does not believe
Telfair, a former New York City prep star, attended a Georgia Tech

"I can't prove that conclusively, but in order for him to come
to a game at the Coliseum he would have to scalp a ticket or be on
our ticket list, and he was never on our ticket list," Hewitt
said, noting that all home games at Alexander-Memorial Coliseum are

Hewitt challenged O'Connor's claims when both appeared on an
Atlanta sports talk radio station Wednesday morning.

"What I'm hoping to do here is just discredit the story,"
Hewitt told The Associated Press. "It can certainly hurt our
efforts in recruiting."

O'Connor said in a telephone interview Wednesday "I did not put
that in the book lightly."

O'Connor said Telfair's brother "and his lifelong best friend
who now lives with him in Portland" say Telfair went to a Tech
game in Atlanta.

O'Connor said he also relied on information "from someone close
to Sebastian I found to be credible who has no agenda for
embellishing the story."

Telfair's coach at Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, Dwayne
"Tiny" Morton, told The Associated Press Telfair did not visit
Georgia Tech.

"Definitely not," Morton said, added he "definitely" was
made aware of Telfair's recruiting trips.

"I don't even remember Georgia Tech recruiting him that hard,"
Morton said, adding he remembers Telfair making "only one"
recruiting trip, to Louisville.

Telfair, a guard, committed to Louisville but instead entered
the NBA draft and was the 13th overall pick by Portland last June.

Hewitt said he believes the claim was made to boost sales of the
book, which has not yet been released.

"I feel bad for the kid in a way because my suspicion is this
was something he was asked to do to sell the book," Hewitt said.