May 23, 2024

A Collection Of In-Depth Interviews With Top College Basketball Recruits

4 min read
A Collection Of In-Depth Interviews With Top College Basketball Recruits

Introduction

College basketball is a game of attrition, and the recruits who make it to the top are tough to find. The process is long, but there are some things you can do to get an edge on your competitors. Here’s what I’ve learned about recruiting in my years as a coach:

Jaron Blossomgame, University of Clemson

Jaron Blossomgame is a 6’7″ forward from Mableton, Georgia. He is a native of Atlanta and attended Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He played college basketball at Clemson University from 2013-2018, where he was named an All-American twice (2015 & 2016).

Kendall Stephens, University of Kentucky

Kendall Stephens is a 6’6″ shooting guard from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada. He is ranked as the #7 small forward in the class of 2013 by ESPNU and #15 player in the class of 2013 by Rivals.com.

In this interview, we talk about how Kendall Stephens was recruited to Kentucky and what it’s like being on campus at UK:

Amiral McCallum, University of Florida

Amiral McCallum is a 6’6″ shooting guard from Montverde Academy in Montverde, FL. He is a 4-star recruit and ranked #20 in the class of 2020.

He’s the son of former NBA player Dell Curry, who played for 40 seasons before retiring after this year’s playoffs are over.

De’Andre Hunter, University of Virginia

De’Andre Hunter was a highly touted recruit who chose to sign with UVA. He had many reasons for choosing the school, but one of his primary motivations was its academics.

“I wanted to go somewhere where I could get my degree,” De’Andre told me during our phone call. “It wasn’t just about basketball; it was also about getting my degree and being able to do what I wanted after basketball.”

He has been under a lot of pressure since arriving on Grounds–and he knows it will continue until he delivers results on the court, or at least meets expectations set by head coach Tony Bennett and his staff.

Justin Jackson, University of Maryland

Jackson is a 6’7″ wing player who has been a starter for the past three seasons. He’s improved his scoring average every year since his freshman season, and he’s getting better at defense as well. His size and athleticism make him an ideal fit for today’s game, but he also has good passing skills that will help him contribute on offense as well.

Jaylen Hoard, University of Kentucky

Jaylen Hoard is a 6’7″ forward from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He’s been ranked as high as No. 40 in the nation by 247Sports and reports via Scout.com that he has offers from Kentucky, LSU and Kansas.

Hoard said he’s impressed by Kansas head coach Bill Self because of his ability to recruit big men and also how he gets them ready for the NBA draft.”I think what they do best is develop their players into pros,” said Hoard when asked about KU’s recruiting tactics on ESPNU Live.”They don’t just bring in one guy every year like some schools do; they bring in multiple guys each year who are going to help their team win games down the road.”

His favorite player growing up was Kevin Durant because of everything that went into becoming an NBA superstar (and because he had a beard).

Jackson Prather, University of Texas Southern University

Jackson Prather is a 5-star recruit and the son of former NBA player Marcus Prather. He has been named to the All-American team, won multiple awards, and will be playing for Texas Southern University next year after spending last season at IMG Academy in Florida.

  • Interviewer: How did you get interested in basketball?
  • Jackson: I started playing when I was little because my dad played it growing up so it’s just something that was always there for me to do. It’s definitely something that’s been close to my heart since day one when I stepped foot on this campus here at Texas Southern University (TSU).

Recruiting is a long road and there is no one answer to success.

Recruiting is a long road and there is no one answer to success. It’s important to have a support system, but not everyone has that. Some people have overcome adversity and succeeded in their respective fields of study or athletics, while others have failed at both ends of the spectrum by not being able to make it through school or getting injured due to poor health.

We’ve all heard stories about athletes who struggled with academics while playing sports at an elite level; but what about those who never played any sports? What about those who wanted nothing more than to play high school football or basketball? How did they get where they are today?

It’s easy to say “you should work harder” or “don’t slack off on your studies.” But what does that really mean? How can someone tell if someone else will be successful at something without having experienced first hand how difficult it was for them personally (or worse yet – watching them struggle)?

Conclusion

There are many things that go into making a successful recruiting class, but one thing is clear: good coaches and talented players make a big impact. These players were interviewed by some of the best in the business. They all have something to say about their experiences on campus and what it means for them moving forward as professionals. The key takeaway here is that there is no perfect formula for success—you need both!

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