Four-star junior A.J. Stewart is making the transition from promising athlete to promising basketball player in his junior season at Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Fla.
The No. 77 ranked player in the class of 2007 plays for one of the top coaches in the country in Rex Morgan. Stewart also battles everyday with five-star center Jason Bennett, all 7-feet-3 of him, in practice.
Stewart has improved his post skills and provides ACD with an extra bounce inside and scoring options 15 feet and in.
"I'm going a lot stronger to the basket and dunking on people. I know what Shaq feels like sometimes," Stewart said. "A lot of the teams we play in our area don't have a lot size. Sometimes their biggest player is only 6-6 and I've been backing him down more and drop step dunking. I'm trying to mix it up."
While Stewart is fine-tuning his post skills, he is hoping to get back to his roots as a big small forward this spring and summer on the AAU trail, where he will suit up with John Adkins and the Tallahassee Wildcats.
"This summer is big, real big," Stewart said. "I want to go out there and play hard. I'm expecting big things for myself."
So are a number of high-majors. Stewart said his recruitment has exploded this season and as the season draws closer to an end, every day it gets busier and busier.
Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Miami, Texas and Wake Forest are all involved but Stewart said no one has climbed to the top just yet.
"To be honest, I have no idea on who I like," Stewart said. "I want to take the test and then take some visits. It is getting confusing. I get calls everyday. It just started happening. The difference from last year to this year is crazy. I used to get just a couple of letters. Now it is a lot busier. It is overwhelming at times. Don't get me wrong, I like it a lot."
Unlike so many other juniors, Stewart said he wants to take his time and explore his options later rather than sooner.
"I'll probably wait until after the summer and see who is recruiting me with all of my coaches then," Stewart said.
He hopes his transformation into a high-major player is complete by then.