The Best 13-Year-Old in the Country?
Colin Slater II has been crossing over regional cats, now ready for national felines.
FRESNO — Meet Colin Slater II, a 5-9 point guard at Granite Ridge Intermediate School out of Fresno, CA. He’s been tearing up the Cali scene and is now starting to make a name for himself nationally.
Colin, currently in the eighth grade, nearly averaged a quadruple-double last season at 28.1 points, 10.5 assists, 10.1 steals and 8.2 rebounds per game.
He’s rated nationally by Sports Press TV as the 85th best player in the Class of 2016—a feat that’s humbling to Colin considering he’s only attended one major camp and hasn’t participated in any other national camp like those ranked above him.
Colin put his name out there when he entered the 2009 National adidas Jr. Phenom Camp in San Diego, CA. This was his first and only nationally exposed camp attended by the top players in the country. Colin left that camp ranked as the No 1. shooting guard in his class.
Colin has been playing against high school summer league competition since he was in the fifth grade. Now, Colin is considered by most to be the best point guard in Fresno and he’s not even in high school yet.
“I don’t think about those rankings,” said Colin. “I just try and get better each and every day and plus, my dad makes sure I don’t slack up.”
Some may think it’s too soon to be giving a young player such high praise, but this kid is special.
“He’s incredibly unselfish for someone of his skill set,” Colin’s coach Jason Le Fore said. “He knows how to keep his team involved even though he can take over games by himself. He’s an ultimate team player.”
The Central Cali Finest Showcase Event is one of the elite camps intended for high school players in the central valley. Colin was the lone exception in the seventh grade at the time.
The Showcase director offered this analysis of Colin’s performance: “We never really have middle school players in our event, but Colin is the exception. Colin is years ahead of his peers in relation to skill. His handle of the basketball, skill set is very good; however, he is going to have to find that next gear once he reaches high school since the others will catch up at some point. With that said, if Colin improves at the same rate as his peers, he could be a top recruit in years to come.”
Colin attended the Michael Jordan camp in Los Angeles two years ago and Jordan was so impressed by his game, he picked Colin out to go one-on-one with him in front of the entire camp. When the camp ended, Jordan gave him pointers on how to keep improving his game.
Still not buying it? Maybe skeptics will change their tune after they see what the pops of New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul and Charlotte Bobcats’ DJ Augustin had to say about Colin’s ability.
“That kid is special,” Charles Paul said. “I thought the kid was a short high school player when I saw him play for the first time a couple years back. If he continues to get better, he could be the best in his class if he isn’t already.”
“I’ll put it to you like this, he reminds me of DJ at that age and DJ was tearing it up at 13,” Daryl Augustin said. “Colin is very mature for his age and I’m confident in saying he will prosper in the game of basketball. I hate ranking kids that young but he’s worth it.”
The reason for Colin’s success thus far is due to his own pops, Colin Slater Sr, or simply known as coach Slate. Slate is the assistant boys’ basketball coach for the Clovis North High Broncos who are coming off of winning the school’s first Central Section Division II boys basketball championship.
Known for his ultimate private rigorous basketball workouts that he’s been conducting in the central valley for six years, Slate has trained over 30 NCAA players, hundreds of high school players, and seven professional players. He specializes in offensive creativeness but stresses using the skills above your shoulders.
“I love educating and teaching the effectiveness of learning and incorporating new moves into a player’s repertoire,” Slate said. “Once I do that, I simulate game situations and force them to think about what move should be used at that moment. So not only do they get better physically, they get better mentally.”
Check out this coach Slate name drop from a prized Texas recruit who thanked Slate for developing him into the player he is today.
Colin wasn’t blessed with God-given ability; he worked at it at a young age. He went to his first adidas New Orleans Jazz camp when he was 5 years old and got torched. He was only a casual basketball player then, but his performance left a bitter taste in his mouth.
“From that point, he always wanted to get better and I told him if he really wanted to do this, then we’ll do it. We’ve been doing it ever since then,” Slate said.
Slate said he and Colin use to walk to school dribbling a basketball with his left hand for a whole year after that camp. By the time he turned 6, he was making left-hand layups on regulation courts.
That was the foundation and now Colin is a year from high school and coach Slate says that will be the time when he’ll start putting Colin in those elite camps.
“Camps that we go to now are local and regional camps that we have to pay for because there‘s no invitational camps at his age,” Slate said. “When he’s in high school, he’ll get those prestigious invites and he’ll be ready.”
Most youngsters ranked above Colin are 6-9 athletes who could very well end up being 7-0 while in high school. Colin is, pound for pound, the best 13-year-old in the country. There’s nothing the kid can’t do: Jumper is wet; handles are impeccable; sees the court very well; and has a blue-collar work ethic.
Carrying a 3.7 grade point average with a bright future ahead of him, he says what he would really like to do when he gets of age is sports broadcasting.
“I like talking about sports and that’s a field I would love to get into when I get older,” Colin said.
If SLAMonline readers are still not convinced, only time will reveal what the hype is about. But why wait—jump on the bandwagon now so you can say you’ve been up on this kid since he was in junior high. Because, you will hear about this kid.