Like all players, Kenny Gabriel is looking forward to a statement month in April. The 6-foot-7, 195-pound forward from Hope Christian in King's Mountain, N.C. wants to earn a scholarship offer from the ACC. He knows his time is now in order to do that.
"I just got to go out there and play my best to get the scholarship from the ACC that I'm looking for," Gabriel told Rivals.com over the weekend at the NACA tournament in Dayton, Tenn.
So far, East Carolina, UNC-Wilmington and High Point have all offered Gabriel and he's happy with that. But he said he'd like to add more offers, including some from the ACC.
Clemson, Wake Forest and Miami have both been in to see him play this season, he said, while Virginia Tech is also interested. Gabriel said he also visited Clemson, East Carolina and Wake Forest unofficially in the fall.
Gabriel, a Charlotte, N.C. native, said the draw to the ACC is all about basketball.
"I like the way they play and how physical they play and how well they get up and down the floor," Gabriel said. "It's a conference that I feel like I could really play in."
He also understands what he needs to do in order to get the offer that he desires.
"I want to work on my dribbling and get some weight on while playing as big as I can," Gabriel said. "That's what I need to do to earn that ACC offer. From there, I should be able to get it."
Gabriel certainly fits the mold of the kind of player that can benefit from a strong AAU showing, where he'll play with the Charlotte Royals. The combo forward is a rangy prospect that does good work inside the paint and uses his length well. He grabbed 13 rebounds, scored 10 points and blocked four shots against a good Decatur (Ill.) Christian team.
The three-star forward looked comfortable at both spots and has some toughness to him, evident by a split lip that could very well took on a good amount of stitches. He's open to playing both forward positions in college, too.
"The schools that I've been talking to said they'll put me either at the three or the four," he said. "I'd rather play the three first and then the four. I like to create so that's why I'd like to play on the wing but I'm comfortable at the four because I like to post up, too."
April is quickly creeping up and Gabriel is putting in the work to gain what he is looking for.