The big screen is becoming reality for Al-Farouq Aminu these days. The nation's third ranked player recently realized his life is mirroring a hoops cinematic character.
The 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward from Norcross (Ga.) High School said he knows the script and he is meeting some of the characters as he considers the pluses and minuses of his top three schools – Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Wake Forest.
"It's funny," Aminu says, "I was watching He Got Game the other day and when it came to the part where all of the coaches were saying, 'This is the biggest decision of your life.' I was like, 'Wow, that's my life right now.' They really say that. It was even funnier when Roy Williams, who was with Kansas in that movie, said it. He has told me that very thing."
So has Paul Hewitt and Skip Prosser. Aminu said he knows the enormity of his impending decision and he is not afraid to admit that the biggest decision he will make in his life is coming upon him.
"Those are the three that have been in the longest and recruited me the hardest," Aminu said. "I like all of the schools and I like the people at all three places. That's why they are all in my top three."
However, finding that top one has been difficult, he said. Aminu has visited all three of his finalists, including a weekend unofficial to Georgia Tech and a visit to Wake Forest two weeks ago. Aminu was in Chapel Hill for the Tar Heels game against Wake Forest during the season.
Aminu spoke highly of his time in Winston-Salem with the Demon Deacons.
"The Wake Forest visit was cool. I liked the coaches and the players and I got a good vibe from everyone there. It was good to spend some time with them and see them in their environment," Aminu said. "It's opposite of the other high-majors out there. It's the ACC but it's not that big traditional basketball school like UNC. And I kind of like that."
A relatively shy kid on the surface, Aminu said he is hoping to find a place where he can be himself and carve out a niche on the hardwood and classroom. Georgia Tech, oftentimes thought to be the leader, has several positives in it's corner. His brother, Alade, is a rising junior with the Yellow Jackets team. His good friend and former Norcross teammate, Gani Lawal, is an incoming freshman at the school.
"I think I can (carve out my own niche) at Tech. Alade would only be there for a year when I'm in college and then he'll be finished. I'll be left with three more years to go," Aminu said. "I'll have plenty of time to carve out my own identity in that time. It's not like he's going to be at Tech every minute that I'd be there if I went there. But it is an angle that I have to really consider."
Aminu said each of his finalists have a legit shot of landing him and he can see himself at all three programs.
"I think there is a good chance that I could be my own person at any of the schools," he said. "All three are in the ACC. All three have great players coming in. Everybody loves playing at all three schools.
"Me and mom go back and forth on that all the time. She plays the devil's advocate. One day, I like one school more. Then the next day, I like another. There are times I feel like I know what I want to do but then we go back and forth with it all."
Aminu said he would like to make his decision public at the Peach Jam in mid-July but if the time isn't right, he will wait until school starts. Aminu said he is looking hard at the coaches and looking for the best overall fit academically, athletically and socially with all three. Making an impact for a year and going pro isn't part of the decision-making process.
"Every school I'm looking at, you can be their Kevin Durant. But that's not what I'm really looking for. Each of the schools has great things that I like. That's why they are in my top three," Aminu said. "Now the hard part is weighing everything out and making that decision."
That decision being the biggest decision in his life.