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Wednesday / February 22.

Rabb Focused on Team USA; Says Three Schools Working Hardest

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As the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2015, Ivan Rabb would seem to stand a strong chance of making the USA Men’s U16 National Team.

But Rabb — and the other 30 players trying out in Colorado Springs, Colo., — won’t learn the 12-man roster until later this weekend.

“It means a lot to me because I think I’m pretty much the only player on the West Coast who’s here,” the 6-foot-10, 203-pound forward from Oakland Bishop O’Dowd told by phone. “Most of the other people are from the South are the East Coast. I just want to represent for the West side as well.”

And if Rabb ends up making the team that will compete in the team that will compete in the FIBA Americas Championship in Uruguay later this month, “It would mean a lot to me because all the hard work I put in, it means it’s starting to pay off. And it’s just a steppingstone toward college….First I want to handle my business and continue to get better.”

As far as recruiting, Rabb says three schools are recruiting him the hardest right now — California, Arizona and N.C. State.

“Cal is in the area so I’ve been to their school a few times watching some football games and basketball games,” Rabb said. “They send me a lot of letters. I see them around. They come to my open gyms.

“Arizona, they come to a couple of open gyms. They send me a lot of letters, and I talk to them on the phone every once in a while.

“And N.C. State, they send me a lot of letters. And the head coach [Mark Gottfried] came out to one of my open gyms at the beginning of the school year and watched me play, offered me that morning.”

As for unofficial visits, Rabb has been to Stanford and Cal “a few times.”

“I want to go to UCLA and USC this summer and check out the campus and the coaching,” he said.

Rabb said Kansas has also offered “during my school year,” Duke is “starting to recruit me a little bit” and “Kentucky is looking at me a little bit, too.”

“I don’t know if I have the money in the budget to go to the East Coast to take an official, so I’m just going to stay in the area and look at the schools here, too,” he said.

Rabb runs with the Oakland Soldiers, which have sent several players to Arizona, including Josiah Turner and Brandon Ashley. So will that pipeline impact Rabb at all?

“That’s what people say but I’m my own man,” he said. “So I’m not going to make a decision just because they went there. At the end of the day, I just want to make the best decision.”

Photo: USA BAsketball

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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.