Every year at the Boo Williams Invitational, there seems to be a player that plays himself onto the big, national stage. This year's spring emerging star is Steven Pledger.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound guard from Atlantic Shores Christian shot his way onto the big, national recruiting picture as he helped pilot Boo Williams to the first major tournament title of the spring.
Pledger shot the ball incredibly well in Hampton and was, without question, the biggest surprise of all of the players in the tournament field. Pledger said he couldn't have asked for a better showing.
"I think I did pretty well for myself in terms of getting my name out there. April was a good month for me," Pledger said.
Talk to those that cover the Tidewater area, Pledger played very similarly during the high school season. He really wasn't a big surprise only because that is how he's been performing all year long.
"I think I did well during the season but my name wasn't really out there. People weren't really paying too much attention to it," Pledger said. "That tournament really showed that I could play with the best of them."
His play not only helped his confidence but it also boosted his recruitment. George Mason (offer), VCU (offer), Oklahoma (offer) and Michigan were involved prior to April.
"Before Boo's tournament, there really wasn't that much. After it, though, it really changed," he said. "People started calling. By that Wednesday, there were a lot of new people calling."
Villanova, Wake Forest, Old Dominion (offer), South Carolina, Clemson, Georgetown, Virginia Tech and Hampton (offer) jumped into the picture after the tournament.
The line of coaches that followed him in Dallas two weeks later at the Next Level event was strong. Pledger said he knew two schools would be watching closely.
"I already knew Oklahoma would be at all of my games. They were at every one of my games. Them and VCU," he said.
"If there were to be two, I would have to say Oklahoma and VCU. Oklahoma's coach started recruiting me first when he was at VCU. So I've known him the longest. Then the new staff at VCU started recruiting me when they came in."
Pledger maintains he is still open in his recruitment but more than anything, he wants to go out and show he's worthy of the interest that has now found him.
"To me, I think some people thought it was all a fluke or something," Pledger said. "I need to keep going out there and prove that I'm really as good as I played."