After a productive run on the AAU circuit last year, Shaquille Cleare is back for one more go in 2011 and he's off to a good start.
The 6-foot-9, 280-pound center from Houston Village School has made strides in his game and is looking to prove it this spring and summer.
"I'm trying to prove that I'm one of the top players in the nation, but I've got to do that through hard work," Cleare said.
"I've gotten myself in better shape. I've become bigger, faster, quicker and stronger. I'm improving my free throws, my 15-foot jump shot and I'm posting up real early. I'm holding my man off for at least five to six seconds without getting pushed out of the lane."
A five-star prospect, Cleare isn't satisfied with his current game and is working hard to improve.
"I'm still working on my strength and conditioning, free throws, early posting up, free throws, midrange, jump shot and rebounding," he said.
Cleare has received plenty of recruiting attention and mentioned a handful of schools that have been recruiting him.
"So far my recruitment has gone well; it's been pretty smooth. I have like 10 offers," he said. "Maryland, Texas, Texas A&M, Kansas, Arizona, schools like that."
So far, Cleare has taken unofficial visits to Maryland, Kansas, Texas, Baylor and Texas A&M, but doesn't have any trips currently set up.
He says location isn't a factor but did specify what he's looking for in a school.
"I'm looking for a place I can go and play early," Cleare said. "I'd like a place with brotherhood, like a family. I want to go to a place I can get better and can get me to the pros."
Cleare doesn't have any favorites at the moment and is taking his time through the recruiting process.
"I'm just taking it one step at a time," he said. "I'm wide open. I'm not going to rush any of this. It's probably the biggest decision I've made in my life. I'm going to take my time and talk it over with my parents. I could make my decision at the end of the AAU season."
Cleare staying open
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