Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By DAVE SPAHNSpecial to ZAGSBLOGCHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — If a high school basketball player is regarded as a consensus top 10 player in his class, he will begin to hear from some of college basketball’s blue blood programs as early as freshman year, maybe even middle school.
Kevon Looney, however, let his parents communicate with college coaches about his recruitment and didn’t speak to a high number of schools himself.
“My parents just opened it [recruiting] up to me,” Looney, a 6-foot-8 rising senior power forward at Milwaukee (WI) Hamilton High School, explained Thursday here at the NBPA Top 100 Camp.
“They used to just take all the calls from college coaches and then give me the phone sometimes. Now, they let the coaches start calling me directly. Coaches have my number now, and I’ve been contacted by a lot of them.”
Looney has already felt the pressure and non-stop recruiting ploys from college coaches in only a few short weeks. Coaches have been beating down his door to hopefully make an impression on Looney before the July live period.
“They call so much, you don’t ever really need to reach out to them,” he stated with a laugh.
Not one to do a multitude of interviews with the media, Looney explained his low-profile nature. When asked about laying low during the high school season, he cheerfully responded, “I don’t really talk to media that much, but I’ll talk to them when people are here. As far as at home, I just worry about school and my regular life. I try to stay focused and not get caught up in the attention I’ve been getting.”
Now that he communicates more directly with college coaches, Looney dove into the current state of his recruitment. He listed a host of schools including Duke, Florida, Michigan State, Michigan, Tennessee, Georgetown, Stanford, Wisconsin, UCLA, and UConn as schools showing interest.
Duke brought three coaches out to Milwaukee to do an in-home visit with Looney, and he viewed the visit as a complete success.
“The Duke visit was a great visit,” he said. “Coach K, coach [Nate] James, and coach Wojo [Steve Wojciechowski] all came in. They talked about all the players they coached that are in the NBA that you see on TV. They brought in a video with all the players they coached, like Grant Hill in college and when coach K was coaching in the Olympics.”
Florida also made the trip up north to see Looney at home, and Looney again came away impressed.
“Florida came in first,” he said. “I had a really good time with coach Billy Donovan. It was him and coach [Rashon] Burno. They talked about what they could do for skill development with players that were around my size, a guy like Chandler Parsons.”
Looney will compete the rest of the weekend with other players, such as 2016 phenom Thon Maker, Louisville commit Quintin Snider, Indiana native Trevon Bluiett and 2015 star guard Tyler Dorsey.Follow Dave on TwitterFollow Adam Zagoria on TwitterAnd like ZAGS on Facebook
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 and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.