BLOOMINGTON – Kris Wilkes‘ June looks just as busy as his July.
Wilkes, a senior-to-be from North Central and 2017 IndyStar Mr. Basketball candidate, has visits planned this week to Ohio State (Wednesday) and Michigan (Sunday). He’s part of the Indiana Junior All-Stars squad that played its senior counterpart Tuesday and will again Thursday. And he’ll be at USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team training camp June 14-18.
All of it, while trying to improve a skillset that makes Wilkes, a forward, as potentially versatile as any player in his class.
“I just try to stay on top of my game, keep doing what I do,” Wilkes said Tuesday, after scoring 19 points in a 118-96 loss to the seniors. “Getting better shooting jump shots, getting better handling the ball, so I can get ready for the next level.”
By the end of his recruitment, Wilkes will not want for next-level options. At 6-7, 190 pounds, he offers positional flexibility craved by college coaches.
He is the No. 11 player in the 2017 class, according to the 247Sports Composite, and a priority recruiting target for high-major schools around the country, Indiana, Purdue and Butler among them.
“I get different phone calls every day,” Wilkes said. “All the college coaches, I love talking to them, getting a better relationship.”
His performance against the Senior All-Stars, which also saw him grab four rebounds and shooting 9-of-17 from the floor in 21 minutes, made it easy to understand why his phone is so busy.
Indiana is among those schools staying in close touch with Wilkes, who said he hears regularly from both head coach Tom Crean and associate head coach Tim Buckley. The Hoosiers have hosted Wilkes on multiple occasions, including a trip to Bloomington for Hoosier Hysteria last fall, and another in January, for IU’s game against Ohio State.
“Tom or Tim, they texted me (Monday),” Wilkes said. “I talk to Tim probably a couple times a week, and the same for Tom. He’ll call me sometimes, or send me something. It’s just pretty good.”
For now, the visits to Columbus and Ann Arbor – plus his time with the Junior All-Stars – sit on Wilkes’ front burner.
Then comes Team USA, another chance for the North Central standout to test himself against other elite players.
“It means a lot,” he said. “It tells me my hard work’s been paying off, but I’m still not done. I’ve got to keep working hard and getting ready for it.”
Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman.