RALEIGH, N.C. – Back in July, as his “next big thing” hype began to mount, freshman combo guard Elijah Fisher told USA Today Sports that he was specifically eyeing early dates “against American competition” to kickoff his high school season.
Fisher hails from Crestwood Prep College (Toronto), but spent his summer dominating in the U.S. with Grassroots Canada on the adidas Gauntlet, to the tune of 35 points and 14 rebounds a game.
“The best competition is in America,” Fisher said. “Every game that I play over here is big for me.”
That’s why it makes sense that when Fisher began to come down with flu-like symptoms earlier this week ahead of the Phenom Hoops High School National Showcase in Raleigh, N.C., he never considered not playing; not with a game against Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Virginia), ranked No. 14 in USA TODAY’s Super 25, on the docket.
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“I don’t care that I’m sick,” Fisher said. “It’s important for me to play against teams like Oak Hill and other teams over here because I want to elevate my game. I just have to push through it.”
Despite leaving Friday’s 89-45 loss to Oak Hill multiple times to throw-up, Fisher managed 16 points and six rebounds against the Warriors. On Saturday, he posted 17 points in a 73-56 loss to Trinity Christian School (Fayetteville, North Carolina).
This season, Fisher is averaging 28 points, 10 rebounds and six assists a game.
“It’s all about the experience for me,” Fisher said. “We want to win and we want to get better and we want to play against the best. I try to learn from every game.”
That studiousness has already earned him offers from Ole Miss, Oregon, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Memphis and Wake Forest, and most recently Virginia and Arizona have begun to show interest.
“I know that tournaments like these are the way to get more and more looks from colleges,” Fisher said. “That’s why it didn’t matter to me that I was sick. As a leader I have to step up and play through whatever. That’s how I’m always gonna bring it.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY