Q&A with top 25 rising junior Zion Cruz
Already recognized as one of the top 25 players in the class of 2022, rising junior Zion Cruz is just scratching the surface.
Headed to powerhouse Oak Hill for his junior season, Cruz is an athletic and versatile guard who burst onto the scene last summer with the PSA Cardinals. Already, Cruz holds 20 high major offers from Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Cal, Connecticut, DePaul, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Ohio State, Oregon, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John's, Syracuse and UCLA.
Cruz discussed the early stages of his recruitment and what he's been up to with Rivals.com.
Eric Bossi (EB): I know that it has been a different summer than everybody expected. How have things been going for you?
Zion Cruz (ZC): It has been going good. I’ve been able to get in the gym and connect with Munch (PSA director Munch Williams). Everything has been good and coaches have been calling.
EB: How beneficial is to have an organization behind you like PSA that is well-respected and able to help you through this process?
ZC: It’s been great. Munch has been doing a great job of keeping me on track. Having me do interviews, calling coaches and making sure I’m the best I can be when it comes to handling stuff off the court.
EB: On the court, what have your focuses been during workouts?
ZC: It is a little bit of everything but I’ve really been focused on reads. I’ve been watching a lot of NBA and everything is so based off of reads, so I’ve been studying the game a lot more.
EB: Do you see yourself as more of a point guard or a combo guard?
ZC: Point guard. Definitely a point guard.
EB: You are going to Oak Hill next season. What are you looking forward to with that?
ZC: A great schedule. Also building a great relationship with my team and my coaches so we can win. I’m just ready to show my talents so that everybody knows.
EB: How much are you looking forward to playing with Dior Johnson at Oak Hill?
ZC: Me and Dior, we have been looking forward to this for a long time. Now the time has come and we are definitely ready.
EB: What are people going to see with Zion Cruz? What will they walk away saying about you?
ZC: They are going to see everything, they are going to be like whoa. I can’t even tell you it is just, it is going to be a movie.
EB: You can score, you can get to the rim and you are a good athlete. But it looks to me that on the defensive side of the ball you play with just as much pride.
ZC: I do take great pride in defense. Not a lot of kids take pride in defense, but that just really starts me off.
EB: Coaches can call you directly now. How has that experience been for you?
ZC: It has been good. I’ve been taking my time to handle it. There have been a lot of schools calling so I’ve just been handling it and seeing who I need to be in contact, so it has been good.
EB: Have there been any staffs setting themselves apart from the others or has it been equal for you?
ZC: Everybody has surprised me. Like Georgia sends me a lot of stuff and I didn’t really think they would have a lot of interest me.
EB: Have you been on campus anywhere?
ZC: The only campus I have been to is Syracuse.
EB: How was that visit for you?
ZC: It was a great experience. I went to the game when they played against Duke, so it was a great experience to watch them go at it.
EB: You are still young and just getting to know staffs. When you talk to them and research their programs, what matters to you?
ZC: If they are loyal is what I’ve been looking at most. Loyalty is what really matters to me.
EB: Is there a playing style that you are looking for?
ZC: I’m looking for a place that has an open run where they really just let us play.
EB: Some kids don’t like the recruiting process at all and want to get it done early. Some really like it and want to take their time. Have you and your family started talking about what approach you are going to take?
ZC: I’m just going to take my time. We’ve already talked about it. We are going to let every offer come in and then see which school we like the most.