Following a visit to Arizona State last weekend, 2018 wing Bakari Simmons received a scholarship offer from the school's head coach Bobby Hurley.
It wasn't taken lightly.
Simmons already knows more about Hurley's basketball background than most recruits. He recently transferred from Simeon High in Chicago to play for legendary coach Bob Hurley Sr. at St. Anthony's in Jersey City, New Jersey.
"This was the offer that I really wanted," Simmons said. "Arizona State is a school that I think can be very special for me as far as a college option. The reason I say that is because I already know what to expect if I went there because I play for coach Hurley's dad. I love playing for him and I know that there will be a lot of similarities. I like the way they coach. They are going to coach you hard but tell you the truth and be behind you 100 percent.
"They have your best interests in mind with how they coach. It's all about the team and playing really hard and being together. We already played in [a big tournament] and beat everyone even though we are young. Some of the teams were probably more talented, but we just played so hard and as a team and we didn't lose. That's the way it is at St. Anthony's and I love that."
ASU is the first high major offer for Simmons, who also has a scholarship from University of Illinois-Chicago and is hearing from an array of schools from coast to coast. The early interest from the Sun Devils is important, but what means a lot more to Simmons is the nature of the relationships.
"With me it's really about more than basketball," he said. "I mean, basketball is a huge part of it, of course, but I look at this as a lifelong decision. The relationships are really important and knowing that you're part of a family where everyone supports one another and has their back. I'm really big on that. Like if it's a family type situation, that's what I'm really looking for. I want to be able to have relationships that last a long time after basketball and know that it really means something. This is an opportunity, just picking a college, that is a once in a lifetime thing and I want to make sure that I'm going to be in that type of situation and I feel like that's there at ASU."
A left-handed wing with length and a well rounded skill set, Simmons shares the ball effectively and scores at all levels. The style of play at ASU under Hurley is something he thinks will also match his personality and approach to the game. The school and what it has to offer will as well, Simmons said.
"When I was there it just felt so comfortable, like I already know that I would have a great relationship no only with coach Hurley but the rest of the coaches and even the players," he said. "Plus the campus was so nice and the area and everything. It was just a beautiful place, like I already am thinking about when I can go back. I'm definitely going to be visiting again and am looking forward to it even though I just left."