Marvin Bagley III, the nation’s top basketball player in the class of 2018, is leaving Hillcrest Prep.
And from the sound of it, Bagley III’s time as a high school basketball player in Arizona is done.
His father, Marvin Bagley Jr., made that clear to azcentral sports high school insider Richard Obert.
“We made a thousand percent effort to stay loyal to the state of Arizona,” Bagley Jr., said. “We tried everything we could to get that national stage and opportunity. It just didn’t work out. We don’t see it happening.”
That quote is so telling about today’s climate in college basketball recruiting, but it’s also so odd.
If there is one player in the country who doesn’t need to leverage national exposure, it’s Marvin Bagley III.
Bagley III has been followed closely by recruiting gurus, coaches and college basketball fans since middle school. As a freshman, he led Tempe Corona del Sol to a fourth straight Division I state title last season. He already has offers from Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and many others.
Oh, and the dunks. So many dunks.
Bagley Jr., has every right to provide his son with the best educational and basketball opportunities that he sees fit. But that “national stage” explanation doesn’t pass the eye test.
Obert reported Bagley Jr., was upset to learn that a Hillcrest game was moved out of ESPN coverage. As cool as a nationally televised game against Thon Maker sounds, Bagley III doesn’t need the TV coverage as a sophomore. He doesn’t need it at all.
The fact is that Bagley III, barring injury, will be the top high school senior in the country in two years. He will get invited to the McDonald’s All-American Game, the Jordan Classic, the Nike Hoops Summit and every other postseason showcase game.
Should he decide to go that route, he will have the opportunity to play for a college basketball blue blood with every game on national TV.
And all of that would have remained true if he stayed at Corona.
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Photos: Hillcrest vs. Phoenix College