Most high school athletes can't wait to sign a letter of intent to play collegiate sports. But Archbishop Mitty basketball star Aaron Gordon can make colleges wait on him.

While the early signing period ends Wednesday, Gordon doesn't intend to sign until the spring period next April. Gordon has trimmed his final schools to Kentucky, Arizona and Washington.

"Aaron is in a unique position," said Mark Olivier, executive director of the Oakland Soldiers, Gordon's AAU team. "He's a program-changer. Most kids can't wait like he can. They've got to sign when offers are made because they might not be there later. Not Aaron."

The 6-foot-8 Gordon is rated among the nation's Top 10 prospects and has led Mitty to two consecutive Division II state titles. He can make an oral commitment at any time, but it won't be binding until he signs in the spring.

Recently, Gordon told this newspaper that he wanted to watch the first couple months of the college season to make a better informed decision.

"Coaches always tell you how they like players to fit in on the court," Gordon said. "But I want to see if they actually do what they say. I want to see how they use versatile players on their team, because I think that's the way I play."

Last week, Gordon cut Kansas and Oregon from the list of schools he is considering.

"It's kind of like, 'Which one of your family members do you throw out of the boat?'" said his mother, Shelly Davis Gordon. "Aaron is such a people person and he created some really strong relationships with the coaches on those staffs."

As for the finalists, his mother added: "Aaron has some very distinct options. It's a wonderful dilemma to have, but it doesn't make it any easier."

Here is the scouting report on the three schools on Gordon's list:

  • Arizona. Two of Gordon's former AAU teammates currently play for the Wildcats, so he's familiar with the school.

    "It's kind of become the premier program in the West," Davis Gordon said. "Sean Miller is an up-and-coming coach. What you see is what you get with him, and Aaron likes that."

  • Kentucky. The Wildcats are the defending national champions and coach John Calipari has a reputation for developing NBA-level talent.

    "It's just a quality program with great players," she said. "Aaron likes that because he shines brightest when the lights are on. They just seem like good people there and we would trust them with our kid."

  • Washington. Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar grew up in the same Los Angeles neighborhood as Gordon's father, Ed. The families have remained close over the years. Davis Gordon also is originally from the Seattle area.

    "We have a long relationship with Lorenzo," Davis Gordon said. "He has been a guardian angel to our kids. Washington doesn't quite have the national reputation of the other schools, so Aaron would probably be called upon to do a lot there. And he doesn't shy away from that."

    Contact Mark Emmons at 408-920-5745.