Shaun Pruitt prepares for busy July

For most highly recruited basketball players life can become increasingly hectic heading into their final year of high school. Making official visits to a variety of univerisities, along with participating in a never-ending slew of basketball camps during the summer, while balancing grades, friends, and their own game can seem like an impossible task.

However, you can chalk up another hurdle that Shaun Pruitt has had to overcome. It involves his recovery from a broken tibia that occurred prior to the beginning of the basketball season last year.

"The injury was tough to overcome," Pruitt said. "There was the rehab, and then I had to start over on all of the work I did up to that point with my game. But now I'm on the right track."

Pruitt has spent the beginning of the summer alternating days between his high school gym and rehabbing the leg. Part of which involves working with a martial arts instructor in Chicago, trying to increase his flexibility and strength.

"I've been working out more than anything else this summer," Pruitt commented. "My (injured) leg still isn't as strong as the other one and it would help me during the camps if I had more power in both of my legs, but it does feel a lot better."

He says it is too difficult to know when he'll be at full strength, and that it could take a while. However, Pruitt just returned from the NBA Camp in Chicago and has a full schedule slated for July.

"I'm going to be really busy next month," Pruitt said. "I have the Nike Camp over the July 4th weekend, after that I go with the Illinois Wolves (AAU Team) to a tournament in Kansas, then it's the Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas and finally Nationals."

Pruitt sounded exhausted just talking about the amount of traveling and playing he'll be doing next month. But he has a set list of goals to accomplish and is looking forward to the opportunity to play basketball on more of a consistent basis.

"I want to play much better than I did at the NBA Camp," Pruitt said. "It was a good experience, but during the games the other guys shot the ball a lot and I didn't get many touches. I think a good goal for me is to be one of the top 25 players at Nike as well as Big Time."

Pruitt also realized the importance of weight training and the need to add some muscle to his frame in order to prepare for the college game.

"After playing against some of the guys at NBA, I know I need to put on about 15-20 pounds," Pruitt said. "I think my skills were good, but I just need to work on adding some weight."

As a recruit, Pruitt now faces the task of deciding where he'd like to go to college. He mentioned Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Marquette, Purdue, Arizona and Michigan State as schools that he considers to be his top choices.

"Things are going well with recruiting. It is nice during the period when schools aren't able to contact me, because I can get some rest," Pruitt stated. "But I know I need to visit more schools and until I do that I won't be able to make a decision."

Just narrowing down the choices of where he wants to play ball will be a "tough choice." A choice that will be based on a couple of factors.

"I've been told to think of a school where I'd like to attend if I wasn't going to play basketball," Pruitt said. "Illinois is definitely a place I'd like to go because it is close to home. I also pay attention to the coaches. I like Bruce Weber (Illinois Head Coach) and Mike Davis from Indiana is a really nice guy."

Until he makes that final choice, this left-hander from Aurora, Illinois, will be working on a few moves with his alternate side.

"I'm working hard on using my right hand," Pruitt said. "When I want to score I go to my left and because a lot of these players haven't gone up against me, they're not ready for it. But if I meet someone again they'll know what to look for. So I want to focus on developing a right-handed hook shot."

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