Bradley “B.J.” Hayes, a highly coveted 6-foot-11 senior center from Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood, is down to four schools.
“Basically, it’s UConn, Georgetown, Florida and Texas A&M,” Todd Washington, a family friend and founder of the Puerto Rico Playmakers, told SNY.tv.
Florida is the only school that has yet to offer a scholarship.
Hayes currently has no visits set and will trip this weekend with the DH Warriors to Pittsburgh and then go on a school trip the following weekend.
“I probably won’t really make my decision until I go on all my visits,” Hayes told SNY.tv by phone.
As for each of the schools, here’s what he had to say.
On UConn. “I like the history that the school has of putting big men into the league. They recently hey had Andre Drummond but everybody else they put in, like [Hasheem] Thabeet and a lot of other people. I just like their history of putting big men into the league because that”s my main goal.”
On Georgetown: “I like their offense. They allow their big man to not just be a regular five but he can step out and shoot. I can hit the shot to 15 feet.” Hayes has a home visit tonight (Wednesday) with the Hoyas staff, whom he has not yet met.
On Florida: “I like their coach [Billy Donovan]. I like coach straight up. He wants the best and I want to be the best.” He said Donovan planned to watch him this weekend with the DH Warriors in Pittsburgh.
On Texas A&M: “I think me and the coaches really click. When [assistant Glenn Cyprien] came to the house on the home visit we clicked. I like the coaching the staff and everybody there. That’ s major in picking a school.”
Hayes dislocated his knee in 10th grade and that “kept me out of school for a couple months,” he said. He only began playing basketball again as an 11th grader. Thus, his recruitment has come along more slowly than others.
“This is my first full year of playing high school because of injuries,” he said.
He says wherever he goes to school he plans to make the most of it to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA.
“I plan on working hard,” he said. “I’m going to be focused on what I gotta do. If I’m not in my dorm doing my school work I’m going to be in the gym or the weight room.”
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.