James Hickson can bring a crowd. The five-star forward is one of the most recruited big men in the class of 2007 had a coaching convention on the sidelines at the Montverde Academy tournament on Thursday.
At least 10 schools came in to see stud big man from Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga., and at least 10 others are actively recruiting him.
Amongst the schools that came to the sleepy Orlando suburb were Auburn, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, Providence, South Florida, UConn and Virginia Tech on Thursday.
Acquiring a school list is more of a collection of names. Hickson has long maintained that he is open and listening to all comers.
"Right now I'm wide open," Hickson said. "The major thing when I choose my school is playing time right away and make an impact. I'm not trying to come in and sit down. I want to play."
Believe him when he says he is open. Can you blame him?
"There are a lot of schools and I don't really remember them all the time," Hickson said. "Anybody can come in."
There is a plan of action though for the ever-improving prospect.
"When the summer starts, I should have my list down," Hickson said.
And when he does trim the list down, he knows he will be looking at a number of different things in his future home.
"Playing time and I want to get my work done academically and somewhere that I can fit in," Hickson said of his criteria in a school. "I'll look at how they pass the ball into the post and do they push the ball."
Hickson has taken his game to a new level this season in his first season at Wheeler High School, a team whose only loss is at the hands of the famed Oak Hill Academy. His improvement since his freshman year at Southwest Atlanta Christian has been incredible.
"I didn't have the IQ that have now. I was just athletic and that's how I played," Hickson said. "Now I have good basketball IQ. At least, I feel like I do. I used to just try to put the ball in the hole. I didn't know how to play or play defense or anything else."
Now he is. Hickson is putting the ball on the floor, showing off incredible footwork in the post and extending his jumper out 15 feet and beyond. While he has always been athletic, Hickson is becoming more explosive.
"I've been getting in the gym and working hard on some many different things. If you work hard, it is going to carry over into the games," Hickson said.
And it is carrying over to the recruiting field, too.