Less than a year ago, Chris Early was a reserve power forward on the Huntington (W.V.) High School bench. Closing out the busy evaluation period, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound wing is a must-see prospect for a number of high-major programs.
Early averaged 14 points and eight rebounds a game as a junior, helping his team win it's second state championship in as many years. His role on the team was important, eventually starting as the season went along. But Early said his progression with the Boo Williams Summer League team has made him into the coveted prospect.
"The competition in West Virginia isn't very good. There are good players but not like what it is out here (on the AAU circuit)," Early said. "It's making me a better player that I have been before."
He quietly emerged as a high-major must-see after his showing at the Boo Williams Invitational. After the event, a host of schools said they wanted to evaluate him at the Kingwood.
"Pretty much all of the teams that said they were going to watch me did," Early said. "There were a lot of letters waiting for me the day I got home. It's definitely been a good experience for me."
His mail box has been filled with letters from the new staff at Oklahoma, Florida, St. Joe's, Purdue, Utah, Notre Dame, Virginia, Kentucky, Marshall, Wisconsin and Kansas, Early said. Surprisingly, Early said he has not heard from West Virginia.
"That just makes me want to work harder," he said.
Still early in the process, Early said he doesn't want to rush a decision.
"I'm seeing what kind of opportunities come around," he said. "I'll just weight my options because right now things are picking up and a lot of new schools are coming at me."
Early said his summer plans outside of playing with Boo Williams include a possible stop at Florida's elite camp and a trip to the Nike All-American camp.