A broken wrist sidelined Jeremiah Rivers for nearly two months but it didn’t keep the 6-foot-4, 180-pound guard from Winter Park (Fla.) High School from getting out to see some schools before the hoops season got started. The talented prospect from the class of 2006 recently visited a trio of schools while a handful of others are still making the cut.
Rivers, the No. 32 ranked player in the country by Rivals.com and the fifth highest rated point guard in his class, will be one of the most sought after players in the junior class. He should be. He’s one of the top defenders and a player that knows the ins and outs of the game better than most of his classmates.
The son of Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, the always calm and collected floor general has been a top priority for a number of colleges. Rivers has wasted little time in the recruiting process and hit the road to see some of this top schools.
Rivers visited Notre Dame, Florida (for the Gators’ Midnight Madness) and most recently Georgetown when he was in D.C. to see his father’s Celtics take on the Wizards.
“Those are the three he seems to like enough to go out and see them on his own dime,” Rivers’ coach Matt Hixenbaugh said.
Five others are also making strides with Rivers. Georgia Tech, Florida State, Marquette (his dad’s alma mater), UCLA and Wake Forest are also in the picture.
Just a week into full practice, Hixenbaugh said his point guard is picking up where he left off prior to the injury to his right wrist, his shooting hand no less. Rivers is a week into full contact and is nearly at 100 percent.
“His best strength is his tremendous defense,” the coach said. “We hang our hat on him. He’s a natural leader and he’s good as our leader of the team. We are going to play him at the point this year and see where we go.”
Having a father that has played in the NBA and coached players has also helped in the transition back to the top of his game.
“It’s helped him on a number of levels. He’s been around so much and been exposed to so many things with the game (with his dad being in the NBA). There is no shock value for him,” Hixenbaugh said.
“He knows how hard you have to work to be great instead of just good. That carries over to so many things. With him, it carries over to the defensive end. He knows how important that is and how the doors will open because of that. Plus, he’s the top of line opportunities that allow him some good options to continue to improve.”