Auburn hosted D.J. Gardner from Okolona (Miss.) High School for an official visit this weekend. The trip has put the Tigers in great shape for the highly-recruited shooting guard.
“It was wonderful,” Gardner said. “Everything down there was beautiful. I didn’t know Auburn was like that.”
Two of things that stood out the most to Gardner during his first visit to Auburn were seeing the new basketball arena and attending the football game against South Carolina Saturday night.
“The brand new arena was amazing,” he said. “I went to the football game and it got loud down there. It was live. War Eagle and all that.”
Gardner, who is rated a four-star by ESPNU, was joined on the trip by his mother, grandmother, sister and nephew.
“They loved it too,” he said.
Auburn assistant Randall Dickey is recruiting Gardner for the Tigers.
“Coach Dickey is a nice guy. He treats me like I’m one of his players, like family,” Gardner said.
Gardner and his family spent plenty of time with Dickey and head coach Tony Barbee during the visit.
“Coach Barbee is a guy that’s going to push you to do the right things,” Gardner said. “They need shooters. They want me there so I can shoot.”
This weekend was Gardner’s first official visit but he already has three more lined up to Mississippi State Oct. 1, UTEP Oct. 8 and Memphis Oct. 15. Those three schools along with Auburn and Ole Miss are his top five schools.
“All of them are about the same but Auburn would be on top right now because I just came from the visit,” he said. “The most important thing I’m looking for in a school is a good education and a place where I’m treated like family.”
Gardner was unsure if he would sign in November or the spring period.
Gardner, who is 6-foot-7 and 205 pounds, averaged 24 points and 11.5 rebounds as a junior.