Sam Kaplan has a lot of colleges following him around this summer, but he made one thing pretty clear at the Peach Jam: academics will be the cornerstone of his recruiting process.
"Academics are going to play a big role in my decision," he said. "And I'd also like to stay relatively close to home."
Kaplan, a 6-6, 220 pound power/combination forward from Worcester Academy in Worcester, Mass., has a wide degree of interest from Division I programs. Included on his early list are George Washington, LaSalle, Rhode Island, William & Mary, Maine, Penn, Princeton, Yale, Holy Cross, Fairfield, Marist and Davidson.
Kaplan has taken unofficial trips to Holy Cross, William & Mary, Princeton and Yale. He is hoping to make trips to Penn and Davidson in August so that he can check out both of those campuses.
A reasonably athletic power forward with face up ability, Kaplan will have some decisions to make regarding level. Does he want to go to the highest basketball level possible, knowing that he might be perceived as a role player early on, or does he want to go to a smaller D-I league where he has more of an immediate chance to play?
This past season at Worcester, Kaplan averaged 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists and one block for Mo Cassara's Hilltoppers program.
When Kaplan arrived at Worcester three years ago as a lanky 6-5 freshman, Cassara had him pegged as a high Division I potential player. But as is the case with many kids who are tall at a young age, Kaplan barely grew an inch or two over the next three years, and his frame filled out quite a bit.
Kaplan was a very valuable player on Worcester's team that fell just short of winning the NEPSAC Class A title this past season. With several Hilltoppers now moving on to the Division I ranks this fall, the leadership roles will fall to Kaplan and teammate Steve Hailey.
A solid student who holds a 3.2 GPA and has scored an 1150 on the SAT, Kaplan will wrap up the summer with Leo Papile's BABC squad at the AAU Super Showcase and AAU Nationals in Florida.
Rivalshoops.com will be on hand for both of those events in the Sunshine State, and we will keep you posted on Kaplan's progress.