Brandon Rush, a 6-foot-7, 190 small forward at Mt. Zion (NC) and the No. 7 player on the Rivals75 for the class of 2005, has been around high-level basketball his whole life. His brothers were collegiate stars. One is now playing with the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. Last summer, Rush teamed up with three future NBA players on the Atlanta Celtics. And every step of the way, he has learned something new.
Rush, who's brothers are current LA Laker Kareem and former UCLA star Jaron, is one of the top players in the 2005 class. And he does a good job of surrounding himself with the best of the best.
The Kansas City, Missouri native suited up with the likes of McDonald’s All Americans Dwight Howard, Randolph Morris and Josh Smith over the summer and picked up little pieces of their games in the process.
Wallace Prather, the director of the Atlanta Celtics, says Rush’s time with Smith over of the summer helped some of the high-flying, rim rattling skills rub off on the junior.
“I don’t know if you can call it learning by osmosis but Brandon learned something from Josh just by playing with him,” Prather said. “I know the two are good friends and each one has influenced the other’s game. Brandon picked up a lot of things from Josh. I think people are seeing that now.”
While Prather sees the similarities between highflying junior and Smith, Mt. Zion head coach Tony Fozard likens parts of Rush’s game to Tracy McGrady, NBA All-Star and former Mt. Zion product.
“He’s more athletic than Tracy at this level,” Fozard said. “Tracy had better handles but Brandon just does some things that make you scratch your head.”
Fozard said that Arkansas, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Missouri, UNC and Oklahoma are all recruiting Rush but one school stands out above the rest.
“I’d have to say Louisville is the leading school right now,” Fozard said. “I know he just likes their style of play and how they get up and down the court.”
Colleges could be recruiting him in haste. Rush has made it no secret that he intends to look closely at the NBA after his senior season. And with his liking to Smith and McGrady, scouts are beginning to see the possibilities, too. But for now, Rush continues to shine on the talented Mt. Zion roster and plans on returning to Prather’s Celtics program for the spring and summer.