There might not be a more highly sought after unsigned senior big man in the country than Kadeem Jack of New York Rice High School. The 6-foot-8, 210-pound late bloomer has exploded onto the recruiting radar this high school season, and now he has big time attention from coast to coast.
Jack's life has gotten a lot busier in recent months. According to his mentor, Damian Leslie, the meteoric rise that has happened for Jack both on the court and on the recruiting trail has been a fun and busy time.
"It's been a lot of fun and quite interesting," said Leslie of Jack's rise to the national scene. "It has been a learning experience. Right now it is winding down to focus the list of schools. We are trying to get it down to a top four, then three, and get it down to the top school in the next month or month and a half."
Already Jack has made an official visit to the University of Arizona. Along with the Wildcats, several other schools are throwing their hat in the ring for Jack.
"You have Florida, UConn, Arkansas, and we have spoken to the people at UCLA as well," Leslie listed. "That is where it is at. We have already visited Arizona, so it has to be narrowed down to the next two schools, and possibly third school he will visit."
The visit to Arizona was a very good one. To this point it has been his only official visit, and the Wildcats have set the bar very high for the other schools on Jack's list.
"That was definitely a good experience," said Leslie of the trip to Arizona. "That experience was to give Kadeem a chance to see something he has missed. He didn't have much of a chance to visit any schools during his junior year like most highly ranked kids. It was an experience that Kadeem had to go through. Some people might say it wasn't a good idea to visit during the middle of the season, but it was something Kadeem needed to do."
At the moment Leslie says that Jack is focused on his high school season along with figuring out exactly which schools he is going to visit. Currently nothing is set in stone for the future.
"That is what is going on right now," Leslie explained about what will happen in terms of the remaining visits. "Those four or five schools that I mentioned, we have to narrow it down and see what makes sense."
No matter what, expect this recruitment to take a while to play out. Jack is in no hurry to make a commitment, and wants to make sure that he comes to the right decision, not just a quick decision.
"He won't make a decision until after the end of the regular season and the playoffs when he has had a chance to listen to all of the coaches and make the proper decision on which school to attend," explained Leslie.
When it comes to selecting a school, Jack knows what is important to him. Jack didn't begin playing organized basketball until high school, so finding a school and a coach that will really prepare him for the future and work with him is of the utmost importance.
"The thing for Kadeem is development," explained Leslie. "(Jack) hasn't been playing basketball for that long, so he has to look for the best school that is going to develop him for the next level, if indeed he is granted that opportunity."