London looking at nine schools

It was an impressive spring and summer for Makinde London who saw his stock soar. Now he is working to figure out his college decision.

Four-star Makinde London is someone who had a big July. The 6-foot-9 forward is full of potential, and he showed a lot of that at the Reebok Breakout Camp, and then continued the rest of the month with D-13 Elite on the AAU circuit.

According to London's AAU coach Dominique Redding, her star forward made big strides this year with his play.

"I thought Makinde played well," said Redding of London. "I thought he grew in certain areas as far as blocking shots, running the floor, and being a vocal leader. I think with him bursting onto the scene he had to deal with a lot of pressure that he never had before with 50-60 coaches coming to watch him."

Redding continued, "After Reebok Camp it was especially difficult, and I think he struggled some in Dallas, but he really finished strong in Las Vegas."

Recruiting wise London is now down to a manageable number of schools.

"He has cut his list down to VCU, Xavier, Georgia Tech, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Mississippi State, and Miami," said Redding. "Also Florida has just started recruiting him. So it is nine schools right now."

She continued, "He goes to Montverde Academy on August 19, and once he gets settled down there we will begin worrying about official visits."

For London the major recruiting interest all came quickly. However Redding was a big time player under Pat Summitt at Tennessee, and was able to help London deal with all the recruiting pressure that came his way during July.

"I told him to just embrace it," said Redding. "The coaches are coming to see you because they already saw something in you. So I told him to do what he does best, and to not try and do 50 things well, just do what you are good at, and then be solid at everything."

She continued, "Also I told him to most importantly have fun. One bad game or one bad tournament isn't going to deter a coaching from recruiting him. I was highly touted coming out of high school, so I had been through, but for Makinde it happened in April and then exploded over four months. That is different than dealing with it for three or four years, so I was just trying to be there for him."

With help from Redding as well as his family, London was able to deal with all of the pressure, and figure out the schools that best fit his game. Now they are trying to find the perfect situation for the four-star prospect.

"He's almost 6-foot-10, but he almost plays like a guard," said Redding. "Still he needs to go somewhere that is going to develop him in terms of his back to the basket game along with his ball handling, passing, and shooting."

She continued, "We are looking for a place where the coaches are used to coaching someone like him, and then he is really smart as well. He loves basketball, but when you are as smart as he is you have to go to a good academic institution. Makinde wants to major in business, so we are looking at that as well. Also we are looking for a coach who will just be there, not someone who will leave and take another job. It is important for him given where he is in his development stage that he is around a coach who will be there to develop him both on and off the court."

Currently London is considered the No. 96 player in the class of 2014.


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