Rawle Alkins, a five-star combo guard, built a legendary resume this past summer; dominating the adidas circuit (24.3 points per game), leading the NY RENS to the adidas title, helping the U.S. Select team go undefeated at the adidas EuroCamp in Treviso, Italy and winning MVP at both the prestigious adidas Nations showcase and the Pangos All-America Camp. That kind of production has Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Indiana, St. John’s, UNLV, UNC and N.C. State all in hot pursuit. Now Alkins has agreed to give USA TODAY HSS exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a blog.
What’s up guys I’m back doing another player blog with USA Today!
I’ve just been sitting back reflecting on the year and I have to say it’s been amazing.
I’ve seen a lot, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve experienced a lot, but I’m embracing everything.
Over the last week I’ve been in three different time zones with my two visits to UNLV, Arizona and spending Valentine’s weekend with my mom in New York.
It’s been fun, but it’s been a grind. I’m jetlagged right now, but I have to suck it up because this recruiting decision is gonna determine who I’ll be five years from now. This will determine how far I’ll go in my career so I’m dedicated to doing everything I have to do to make the best decision.
First, I went to UNLV and Vegas speaks for itself!
The facilities are amazing; this is where they do USA Basketball and I see why.
I’m being recruited by Coach (Ryan) Miller and Coach (Todd) Simon and those are two cool guys! I feel like people may see UNLV on my list and automatically think that I’m not really considering them, but that’s far from true. I definitely am.
If you think about it, every top 20 recruit they’ve had went one-and-done or they’re in the league right now; Anthony Bennett, Rashad Vaughn and then you’ve got Stephen Zimmerman and Derrick Jones this year. Then they’ve got a guy named Ike Nwamu on the team now, and I’m telling you he’s a beast. I think he’s a pro too.
I love their style of play and I love that their whole program is built around success from the trainers on up; that’s what I want to be built around.
Everything about the visit was great!
From there I went to Arizona, it was my second time visiting Arizona this year and I had a ball.
The first time I went I was there for the Oregon game when they lost at home. Before that game they were 49-0 at home and when they lost I was like man I don’t want to be bad luck! Haha!
After the game those guys were in there crying and everything like that because it would’ve been Coach (Sean) Miller’s 300th win.
Coach Miller was saying that he hopes this doesn’t affect their recruitment of me, but I told him I love the fact that one loss is like the world ended! I love that because I’m a winner. And winning is the only option. Honestly, seeing their reaction to losing was a high point of the visit for me.
Coach Miller told me this one quote, he told me, “With team success comes individual success.” That stuck with me. I think too many times we focus on the bigger picture, but to get to that bigger picture you have to go through tonight and tomorrow. That’s what I love about Arizona, they never get ahead of themselves. That’s what they’re about.
Then on my official I got to see the facilities and the campus and everything was amazing!
I went to the UCLA game; it was a revenge game for them and they got the win.
My mom came out too and that was great because my mom is really important in any decision that I make. Arizona is far from where I’m from, but if that ends up being the best situation for me after I weigh everything out then I know I would love it there.
I had a great Valentine’s weekend in New York with my mom!
The only thing about all the traveling was that I was away from the game I love for a week. All of that eating in five-star restaurants and things like that was cool, but I had to get back into the gym and grind.
I was supposed to be at North Carolina for the Duke game last night, but I had to put basketball first and get in the gym and grind until past midnight last night.
I have two official visits left and I don’t know where they’ll be to yet. I’m gonna sit down with my family and figure that out soon. I’ll let you know when I know.
I’m starting to realize that this decision will affect more than just me so it’s important to me to make the best decision. I know this sounds cliché, but it’s really bigger than just me.
Other than that I’m really focused on school. It won’t mean anything if I don’t get the books right so it’s important to me to finish strong. I have a 3.4 GPA and I want to get that even higher.
I guess I’ve become competitive with myself in the classroom too!
Oh I want to take the time to give a shout out to my old coach at Christ the King Joe Arbitello! It’s his birthday today so I want him to have a very happy birthday.
He’s the main reason that this whole situation has blown up so much with me. He took a chance on me when I was a freshman and he helped me become an impact player. He’s one of the biggest reasons I’m succeeding and he’s been a guy that I’ve learned a lot from and someone I look up to.
Happy Birthday Coach!
I want you guys to really know that I’m trying, but going through this process I know I won’t be able to please everyone. With the ultimate decision I know I’m gonna disappoint some people but just know that whatever decision I make is one that I felt was best for me and my family.
I hope that everyone can at least respect that part.
Take care guys, thanks, as always, for reading and I’ll be back soon with my next blog.
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