Already NBA scouts are anxiously awaiting to see how much Shagari Alleyne, a 7-3, 250-pound junior center from Rice H.S. in New York, N.Y., will develop this summer.
Alleyne plans on being at the Rumble in the Bronx this weekend as well as the NIKE camp in early July. Alleyne finished his high school junior year in sparkling fashion. He helped Rice win the Catholic League title in New York City and was named the MVP.
"I have to get better much more before I think about going to the NBA," Alleyne told us. "I want people to say that I'm ready for the NBA when I go into the draft. I'm not ready right now. I am not even close. I have so much more to work on."
Alleyne has the size and is now polishing his skills for that eventual trip to the League. But he is content to work hard on the AAU circuit this summer and craft some other moves. "I have other moves," Alleyne said. "But our team last year was guard oriented. So I made sure once I got the ball that I use my best move. And that's what I did in the playoffs."
It worked. Alleyne was unstoppable in the paint when he received an entry pass from his guards. "They did a great job getting me the ball in the paint," Alleyne said. "Then I was able to score when I had the ball."
Alleyne seemed to score at will in the playoffs, especially the set of games at Fordham University. "My coach and my parents are the ones I trust right now when talking about my recruiting or deciding something about college and the NBA," Alleyne said. "I will rely on coach (Maurice) Hicks and my parents. They say I'm not ready and I agree with them."
Alleyne continues to keep an open mind in his recruiting process. He indicated that he had a very good trip to Louisville. "I just got back," Alleyne said. "I learned a lot of the school's tradition. I met the coaches and some of the players. I gained a lot of information about the program."
Alleyne said he took the visit because of the depth of interest shown by head coach Rick Pitino and his assistants. "They really showed me they were very interested in me," Alleyne said. "So I said to myself if they are that interested I should take a visit and get to know them better."
Alleyne has kept his options open. "I am not narrowing my list down right now," Alleyne said. "I like the SEC, ACC, Big East and Conference USA."
But many schools like Temple, North Carolina, UConn, Miami, Rutgers, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova, Louisville, Kentucky, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Villanova are among the programs that have recruited Shagari seriously.
"I have not ruled out any school," Alleyne said. "I don't like to mention schools because there are so many that I am interested in. Right now I'm not ready for a decision. But if I come to that point, I will discuss it with my coach and parents."