If sheer emotion was the determining factor in North (Norman, Okla.) point guard Trae Young’s recruitment he’d already be committed… Four times.
“Just the way the schools have made me feel on the visits has made me want to commit,” Young said. “Honestly, they really treat you like royalty. It’s hard to fight back those emotions when you’re there in their face and excited.”
Still, Young and other elite recruits contend that it’s imperative to resist the urge to be a prisoner of the moment.
“I definitely feel like it’s important to give every school you commit to visiting a fair look,” Westtown School (West Chester, Penn.) forward Mohamed Bamba said. “We all want to make the best possible decision so it’s important to get the most information; you get a lot of information on visits.”
Putnam Science (Queens, N.Y.) wing Hamidou Diallo agreed, but added that it’s hard to do when the visit is perfect.
“It’s pretty hard for a visit to be 10 out of 10, but when there is a visit that is a 10 out of 10 it’s pretty hard to hold back,” said Diallo, who is ranked No. 11 overall in the ESPN 100. “I’ve definitely experienced some great visits and, yeah, choosing a school is way more than just having an exciting visit but don’t get me wrong that does play a factor.”
Still, Young said that giving into that excitement could potentially put recruits in dire straits.
“You don’t want to make a decision based on emotion,” said Young, who is ranked No. 15 overall in the ESPN 100. “That’s never a good look. It might lead to you realizing in the end that you made a mistake. It’s still hard to do while you’re there on the visit, but you have to realize that you can’t just live in the now.”
Young learned from his father, Ray Young, who went through a similar recruitment process before he starred at Texas Tech from 1996-2000.
“Before I ever went on a visit my dad knew what was gonna happen so he made a rule that we would take all of the visits,” Trae said. “He said we’d be open to everyone and come back and weigh things out after everything was over.”
Bamba said his PSA Cardinals (N.Y.) AAU program has the same rule urging its players not to commit on visits.
“Obviously, your emotions are gonna be high when you’re in front of that many people and they all want you to do the same thing,” said Bamba, who is ranked No. 4 overall in the ESPN 100. “But what you need to do is contain yourself and then talk to your family. I’m not the kind of person that could do something like commit on a visit. I need time to process everything. I think that’s just the smartest way to handle that situation. This process helps you mature; that’s one of the greatest benefits.”
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