The number one player in 2017 is San Diego Balboa City center DeAndre Ayton and he justified that ranking with his recent performance at the LeBron James Academy.
“A quick glance to the court and you would never think that Ayton, a 6-foot-11 post player, recently finished his freshman year of high school,” Evan Daniels wrote. “His physical gifts are impressive. He has strong, wide shoulders, a lengthy set of arms and the mobility and athleticism you want out of a big man.
“He was active, aggressive and consistently ran rim-to-rim trying to get easy points. Ayton is clearly one of, if not the, best long-term prospect at camp.”
One of the more impressive aspects of Ayton’s performance is that he continually played hard, which is something that a good amount of campers could not say.
“It’s real competitive and you have to work hard,” Ayton said. “You can’t slack and you have a target on your back, so you have to play every game like it is your last. It’s a good opportunity, but I did learn that I need to be more physical.”
It would be understandable if Ayton paid attention to his ranking, but he approaches as being relatively meaningless at his young age.
“I want to reach my senior year,” Ayton said. “I like the fact I am number one obviously, but I won’t take it seriously until I keep developing.”
Ayton is sure to get offers from schools throughout the country, but pointed to four schools when asked who is recruiting him the hardest.
“Arizona, Kansas, USC, and San Diego State are recruiting me,” he said. “I will be looking at the coaches recruiting me and how they are on and off the court.”
In addition, Ayton will be look at each school’s style of play.
“I like an offense that will allow me to post, but also face up and attack the basket,” he said. “I feel I have the ability to step out and hit a jump shot.”