Making A Statement
Abdul-Malik Abu solidified himself among the nation’s elite.
by Dave Spahn / @davespahn
Since college coaches can officially watch AAU games during three five-day periods in July, no other time of year is more important for high school athletes to impress. Guys who perform well in July see their stock soar and land scholarship offers left and right.
This past month, Abdul-Malik Abu’s stock soared right through the roof.
Not previously a household name in recruiting circles, Abu competed and held his own against nearly every top player in the country. He turned in a few head-turning performances at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas and carried his momentum over at the Nike Peach Jam where he averaged just under 15 points and 7 rebounds per game. He solidified his case as a top-notch college prospect by averaging over 15 points and 6 rebounds per at the Nike Global Challenge in Washington, DC.
“This summer was the longest summer of my life,” Abu stated with a laugh. “I achieved more this summer than any other summer I’ve ever had. Kids dream about the things I was blessed enough to do: go to camps with NBA guys, meet LeBron, play at the Peach Jam. I’m really lucky.”
When asked about his experience at the LeBron James Skills Academy, Abu lit up with enthusiasm. “I’m a huge LeBron fan. Meeting and taking a picture with him was unbelievable. I loved every minute of it.”
Abu’s high-level performances have drawn the attention of just about every college coach across the nation. He’s heard from nearly all of college basketball’s blue blood programs and recently cut his long list of college choices down to 10 schools: NC State, Florida, Kansas State, Miami, Kentucky, Iowa State, UConn, Providence, UCLA and St John’s. He plans on taking his official visits and hopes to have his choice made before the high school season begins.
“I have a pretty good idea about the four or five schools I want to visit in the fall,” Abu stated. “Hopefully I can make my decision before my school season starts, but I won’t rush into anything if I can’t have it done by then. I want to make sure I choose the best fit for me.”
With such a long list of suitors for his commitment, Abu has the luxury of taking his time with a decision. He will meet with his family in August and come up with a few qualities he’s looking for in a school.
“I’m looking for a school with a lively campus. I’m gonna have to live there for four years, so I want to live in a place with a good sports atmosphere,” explained Abu. “Not everyone will be a one-and-done player, so I need to make sure the fan support and atmosphere is something I want to be a part of for a long time.”
Abu wants to use college as more than an NBA stepping stone.
“Most kids dream about being a one-and-done guy. It’d be nice to do, but I want to use college as a time to improve my game,” Abu said. “I want to learn as much as I can in college to prepare me for the next level, so I’m fine with staying for all four years.”