LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Louisville looks to be strongly positioned in the recruiting race of five-star Northern Virginia small forward V.J. King, who said he’ll take his first official visit to U of L on May 19.
King also holds a scholarship offer from the University of Kentucky, but he seemed more vague in discussing the level of interest he’s received from the Wildcats.
King, a versatile, athletic wing who’s ranked the No. 12 player nationally in the 2016 class by Scout.com, had U of L staff member David Padgett at his game on Saturday morning with the Team Takeover club of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, and he said the Cardinals have been “very involved” in his recruitment.
King, who attends Paul VI High School, declined to list all the teams recruiting him because he said he would be bound to leave someone out, but he said he plans to narrow his list “very soon.” The U of L trip is the only official visit he has scheduled.
“They want me to come in and have an immediate impact,” King said. “That’s what they told me. Playing the two/three spot, coming off high screens and creating, making plays.”
King said he’s in contact multiple times each week with U of L assistant Kenny Johnson, a former assistant at Paul VI and a former coach and administrator for Team Takeover.
“We’ve gotten really close, and we definitely have a great relationship,” King said. “If there’s somebody I’m talking to, I’m talking to him from Louisville.”
As for UK, King said he hears from the Cats once or twice a week, with head coach John Calipari as his main contact on the staff.
“They haven’t really said a whole lot about what position I’ll be playing,” he said. “You hear a lot about the players that go there, but you just never know.”
Calipari and assistant Kenny Payne were also at the EYBL event at the Kentucky Basketball Academy on Saturday, but while King played, they spent the entire time the next court over watching five-star Arkansas guard Malik Monk.
King had 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting, 10 rebounds, five steals and two assists in a 71-56 win over Team Texas Elite.
Of his potential role in college, King said, “I just want to come in and try to contribute, do what I do best, get teammates involved – I’m not a selfish player; I score the ball well – just have a chance to compete for a national championship, whatever it takes, whatever Coach wants me to do.”