Where should I start? Oh yeah, Skal Labissiere from Evangelical Christian School is one of the top prospects for the class of 2015. Also, he is receiving great feedback from his peers, teammates, and others on how well he has been performing during the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League tournament.
On Saturday afternoon, the Riverview Park Activities Center was packed with college coaches. University of Memphis assistant coaches, Robert Kirby and Aki Collins were present. They were joined by Kentucky’s John Calipari, Louisville’s Rick Pitino and Kansas’ Bill Self.
It was a lot of pressure under Labissiere to perform well in front of big-time coaches. In all honesty, he handled it very well.
“It’s fun playing in front of them. You’ve got to impress them, but I play team ball first,” said Labissiere. I didn’t think about it. I just play my game.”
Labissiere is ranked as the No. 6 prospect in the class of 2015 by ESPN.com.
Labissiere has been an dominant force while playing for the Arkansas Wings. On Saturday, he finished the game with 10 points, nine rebounds, and six blocks to get his team into Sunday’s noon 16U final against Each1Teach1.
“It’s been a pretty fun week,” said Labissiere.
Earlier this week could have got worse for Labissiere as he was hospitalized after taking an elbow to the mouth that pushed back his two front teeth.
“The last two games I didn’t play like I was supposed to. I was in a shooting slump. So Saturday I picked it back up. We’ve been winning and we’re playing good team basketball.”
Coach Pastner watched Labissiere on Wednesday and Thursday of this week before he took off to St. Louis for another tournament. Pastner is definitely locked in on Labissiere for the class of 2015, but wait a minute. Kentucky, Kansas and Auburn have offered him a scholarship.
Labissiere has also been receiving calls from Duke, Texas, Baylor and Tennessee, but mentioned that Memphis is recruiting him hard.
“I really like their coaching staff. I like their team this year. I love Josh. He’s a really good guy,” said Labissiere. Labissiere has been playing pickup games with the current players for Memphis at the Finch Center.
“It’s fun playing against them because it’s fun to see how it’s going to be at the next level,” said Labissiere. “I know freshman guard Markel Crawford pretty well. I know freshman forward Austin Nichols really well.”
It is hard to believe how big this guy is. He has a 7-2 wingspan and stands at 7-0 in shoes.
Blocking shots is his specialty. At his height, he is able to move up and down the floor quickly. The great thing about him is that he is not selfish with his teammates and loves to play team ball.
Wings coach Wes Swift mentions that his team first mentality and desire to improve every aspect of his game make him even more special.
“He’s come up to me five to six different times when we’re eating a meal after the game and said, ‘Hey, coach, what can I do better in the post?’ He’s asking the right questions. The hows. The whys,” said Swift.
“He never comes and goes, ‘Coach, I’m not getting the ball enough.’ It’s always, ‘What can I do to get better?”
I received this information from the Commercial Appeal.