By Jeff Borzello
UPDATE: After this story was published, Beaufort's high school coach called him to notify him that Providence, St. John's and Florida have all reached out regarding Beaufort.
It’s not often a player is considered a high-major prospect yet has not heard from a single college yet.
That’s the case with Kahari Beaufort, a 2014 prospect from Connecticut who blew up at the Tournament of Champions in North Carolina over Memorial Day weekend.
Playing with the Long Island Lightning, Beaufort impressed nearly everyone who caught a glimpse of his game. One scout said he’s “big time,” while Dave Telep of ESPN.com wrote that Beaufort “has the ability to be a high-major guard.”
It’s apparently taken awhile for colleges to catch on, though.
“Not one school,” Beaufort said Thursday morning. “No schools, no letters, no anything. That’s crazy, but I just still work. I know there are a few colleges that [will] look at me.”
Beaufort, a 6-foot-4 point guard, has a strong body and gets after it at both ends of the floor. He can get to the rim and finish or knock down outside shots. Although Beaufort was overshadowed somewhat by Kuran Iverson, he still made a name for himself in North Carolina.
“I was so happy because I’m only 15 and I’m just starting to get noticed,” he said of the attention he received from scouts and reporters. “To tell the truth, I always played like that. The only thing I tried to step up on is my D, because that’s my weak point so I will take charges or anything to help my team.”
While Iverson, a top-10 recruit in the class of 2013, owned most of the eyeballs watching the Lightning, the star prospect has helped Beaufort in other ways. Beaufort even compares the relationship between the two to that of Baylor signees Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello.
When asked which one can dunk like Bello, Beaufort responded: “Me . . . well, no one can jump like Deuce.”
“I grew up with him, I knew him since I was in third grade,” Beaufort said of Iverson. “That’s really like my brother.”
He said there is a 99.9 percent chance he transfers to Northwest Catholic (Conn.), which Iverson currently attends.
With a higher-profile due to his performance at the TOC and a potential move to team up with Iverson in high school, Beaufort knows he has to keep improving his game to get colleges on his trail.
“I look at it like, if I work hard at everything, good things would happen, but if I settle for good, what about my best? My games have strong and weak points,” he said. “On offense, I know I can score whenever, but on defense, I have to work harder.”
He made second-team all-New England Class B while he was at the Pomfret School (Conn.), but is continuing to work on his defense. Early-morning workouts with Iverson have already helped his game.
While no schools are coming at him right now, Beaufort did say Connecticut, Kansas and Georgetown are his top three dream schools.
“I think I can go high D1 because of the fact I’m only a freshman and I’m 15,” he said. “I have a lot more time to work on my game."