By Jeff Borzello
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – It doesn’t take long to notice Zena Edosomwan is not your average high school basketball recruit.
First, he attends Harvard-Westlake (Calif.), a high school that two people have said has the most rigid academic standards “west of the Mississippi.” He holds a 3.4 GPA at that school and has nearly every Ivy League school on his tail.
Then, Edosomwan begins speaking. Aside from the fact he is one of the more well-spoken recruits in the country, his mindset is different than most top-100 recruits.
“People say college is not a four-year decision, it’s a 40-year decision,” Edosomwan said. “That’s how it is for me.”
Yes, a 40-year decision. Not one year and the NBA, not two years and then go pro – 40 years.
With the way he has been playing, though, basketball could certainly be in Edosomwan’s future.
“I worked a lot harder, was focused on getting better,” he said. “I started becoming more competitive.”
At the NBPA Top 100 camp in Virginia last week, the 6-foot-7 power forward more than held his own against higher-rated players. Edosomwan runs the floor exceptionally well and knows how to finish in transition. He has good hands and uses his length and athleticism to make plays above the rim. Given his strong frame, Edosomwan also has the ability to get position in the paint and score.
He went into the camp with the goal of hanging with the top of the class.
“I want to show I can compete with the best players,” Edosomwan said. “It’s the perfect place to do that, with players that are taller and more athletic than me.”
More and more colleges are beginning to notice the student-athlete on the court, as Edosomwan mentioned Harvard, Georgia Tech, Washington, Washington State, UCLA, USC and Virginia Tech.
He took an unofficial visit to UCLA last Monday.
“It was great,” Edosomwan said. “The tradition there is unbelievable, with [John] Wooden and everything he did.”
There doesn’t seem to be much of a timetable for his decision – Edosomwan is focused on his game.
“I just want to keep getting better,” he said. “It’s my time to prove that I can play.”