Every year a player comes out of obscurity during the evaluation period, shooting the once unknown to the elite. This year it was Jerome Habel, a 6-foot-8, 210 pound forward out of Maryland. Now he’s looking at several high major schools as he enters into his last year of prep basketball.
The lefty dominated the competition at the Nike Peach Jam in June. Habel demonstrated relentless rebounding skills as well as a complete defensive game on top of a respectable outside shot.
Virginia Commonwealth and UNC Charlotte were recruiting him before the summer but after proving his worth against the nation’s best, his school list now had the likes of Florida, Arizona, Cincinnati, St. Johns “and a whole lot of others,” Habel said.
All of the schools have offered, he said. The overnight success isn’t something most teenagers get experience. Right now, the Silver Spring, MD native is just taking it all in.
“It’s hard getting used to this,” Habel said. “Nobody expects to get calls from those types of schools but it’s pretty fun. I think I’m handling it pretty well.”
Like many other student athletes waiting to take the SAT, which he will on October 11th, Habel plays the waiting game. In the meantime, he and his family will visit Virginia and Virginia Tech on unofficial trips in the coming weeks. Both schools have also offered.
After he takes the SAT, he’ll start to set up the official visits. On those trips, he’ll be looking for a school where he can use his versatility, back to the basketball skills as well as his dribble penetration and most of all his defensive mindset. Off the court Habel wants to check out the campus life as well as the overall academics.
Don’t expect an early decision though. He plans on weighing all of his options first.
“It all depends. I probably will make a late decision. I just want to make sure I don’t make a wrong choice. I want to be positive before I make any commitment,” Habel said.
Last year at Hargrave Military Academy, Habel averaged a triple double last season at scoring 20 points, pulling 12 rebounds and blocking 11 blocks a game. This year he plans on showing off his outside range and will take more three pointers.