If you don’t know anything about Ray Kasongo, here’s something to keep in mind.
The 6-foot-9, 235-pound big man from Grassroots Canada recently went for 24 points, 15 rebounds and 7 blocks against Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander, two of the most sought after big men in the Class of 2014.
“It was just an intense game,” Kasongo told SNY.tv of the game in Las Vegas from his home in Toronto. “The atmosphere was great. There was a lot of people. There was a lot of college coaches. I just felt like I had to show everyone I that I can compete against anyone and against the best.”
Asked if he felt he made a statement, Kasongo said: “Yeah, I feel like I did pretty great. The statement I tried to leave was that I could compete with anyone.”
Kasongo’s recruitment is heating up and he’s currently focusing on visiting three schools: Oregon, LSU and Florida State.
“I’m going to go visit Oregon Sept. 13-15,” Kasongo said of the weekend when the Ducks host Tennessee in football. “After that, I’ll probably do Florida State next. I’m not sure when I’m going to visit LSU, but it should be in the next couple of months.”
Oregon head coach Dana Altman thinks Kasongo has a high ceiling.
“The college coach said that he likes my game and the potential I have,” Kasongo said. “I could possibly start as a freshman and help the team and make an impact.”
Kasongo also has a strong bond with new LSU assistant Korey McCray.
“I watched them a lot last year on TV,” Kasongo said. “I know they got the new assistant. He’s a good guy. I have a good relationship with him so I just trust whatever he says.”
Florida State also has a connection in that incoming shooting guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes is also Canadian.
“He’s a good friend and to him it seems like it’s a good school,” Kasongo said.
Asked if he was considering any other schools right now, Kasongo said, “No, not really.”
Kansas has also expressed interest but hasn’t offered.
“They said that they’re really interested and that they’re going to follow me,” Kasongo said.
He would have two more officials left and is targeting a springtime decision.
“I’m taking those three for sure and the rest I’m not really sure,” he said.
In the meantime, he expects to enroll this year at St. John’s Northwest Military School in Wisconsin. “That’s what it looks like,” he said.
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.