In New York's highly competitive high school basketball scene, nicknames for players are handed out like candy on Halloween. Except for Sylven Landesberg. He doesn't want one and probably doesn't need one either.
"I keep it simple," says the 6-foot-6, 195-pound shooting guard from Queens's Holy Cross High School. "I just go by Sylvan."
The No. 58 ranked (and rising) junior in the country could have plenty of tag lines. Smooth Operator would work. So would The Learning Center, a play off of his first name. You name, it would stick.
Landesberg has emerged as the top performer in New York this season, if not the top, and has his Holy Cross team playing great basketball. The humble wing is averaging 26 points and 12 rebounds and chalking up win after win, including a big 11-point victory against Christ the King in the Brooklyn-Queens championship.
Not one to draw a spotlight upon himself, Landesberg said he doesn't mind being called the top dog in the Big Apple but would rather be known as a player that kept improving.
"I feel like I'm a different kind of player," he said. "I want to be known as a guy that can do it all. Last year, I was just a scorer. This year I'm doing a lot more things. I've gotten stronger and I think that has helped me become more dominant in a lot of other things."
High-majors are lining up to see him in action this season. Georgia Tech, Virginia, Kentucky, Georgetown, Syracuse, St. John's and Texas are counted amongst those looking at him this year.
Landesberg said he has made the quick trip to St. John's to see the Red Storm at the Garden but outside of that, his trips to campuses have been limited in large part to his attention to winning.
He says his decision will go along the same lines in terms of a timeline. He is in no rush.
"I want to wait it out until the last minute," Landesberg said. "I'll have a short list by the summer but I really want to wait it out until the end when I'm a senior on signing day.
"When I come to college, style of play is going to be a big thing. I want to make an impact right away and not just be another guy on the team. I want to feel like I'm need and not wanted."
Landesberg said he will suit up with the Metro Hawks AAU team this spring and summer. He's leaving the nicknames at home, too.