July is supposed to be a month for high school basketball players to show off their skills for college coaches. Unfortunately for D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera he didn't have that opportunity this summer. He suffered an injury that took him out of July, but now things are back moving forward for the four-star guard.
Sitting on the sidelines watching his Indiana Elite teammates play wasn't how Smith-Rivera envisioned things would happen this summer. However that was the case due to a knee injury, but according to his mother Kelana Rivera, everything is going well in his recovery.
"A lot of people have been reporting that he tore his MCL, it wasn't his MCL it was his meniscus," said Rivera. "His recovery is going great. He is moving really well, and it is hard to make him kind of just relax and sit still. He is trying to get back out there on the court, but he still has a little bit of healing to do. He's off the crutches, and he should be back on the court in about three weeks."
With his knee recovering well, the recruiting process is continuing to proceed for the family. According to Rivera nothing has really slowed down, and actually the injury gave the family a real chance to find out who is serious about recruiting their son.
"We've been in contact with a lot of coaches," Rivera explained. "Even though this has been an unfortunate thing for D'Vauntes to have to sit out and watch everyone else play, it does give him a chance and give us a chance to see who is still in his corner and see who talks to him as much as they did when he was healthy. It has given us a little bit of insight in that regard."
She continued, "Xavier hasn't slowed down at all, Miami has been really consistent, Ohio State has been really consistent, we have been talking with IU coaches, Georgetown has been in close contact, and then also Wake Forest."
Due to the timing of his injury, Smith-Rivera wasn't able to make some of the trips he wanted to during the month of June, but now that he is back walking and getting healthy, the family plans on getting back to those campuses soon.
"We were kind of waiting for him to get off the crutches, and now that he is and walking normally, we are trying to knock some of this out pretty soon," explained Rivera. "With IU being so close we can zip down there during the week or the weekend. We are talking about going down there next weekend, but we haven't finalized those plans yet. Xavier is also pretty close, and we want to get down there soon. We were supposed to go down to both of those schools the week he got hurt, and we didn't make those trips because we wanted to see what was wrong with his knee."
While Indiana and Xavier are the two schools closest that they plan to visit very soon, the family is also setting up trips to some of the schools on their list that are further away.
"We want to get to D.C. to see Georgetown, and then hopefully to Wake and Miami pretty soon," said Rivera. "I think we are also planning on going to a football game at Ohio State here soon."
Those are the trips currently being planned, but Rivera says that they haven't quite narrowed their list down yet, though that is coming soon.
"Right now we are trying to figure that out," said Rivera of narrowing down their list of schools. "We just went through our list as a family. I told D'Vauntes and my husband to make a list of the schools that have offered and put them down in order of how we prefer them, and give reasons why we like them and why we don't like them. I think we are definitely going to shorten the list soon. Also we did a list of who is recruiting him pretty hard, but didn't have a chance to see him play in July and could offer soon. We did a list of those schools as well."
Once the list is narrowed down there is no specific time frame for a decision. Rivera says it could come early or late, it all just depends on how the family feels.
"As far as a timeline, once we get through our list and it is cut down, if there is a clear cut leader that we really feel good about we aren't against deciding, but if it doesn't feel right we will hold off," said Rivera. "With him not being able to play in July, that kind of threw off the process off a little bit because while he has some incredible options right now, he also knows that some things might be left on the table as well because of the injury."
Currently Smith-Rivera is rated as the No. 21 player in the class.