There are a long list of players from this weekend’s USA Basketball Junior National Team Minicamp that are making return trips to Colorado Springs to represent their country.
But for Markelle Fultz, a 6-foot-4, 170-pound point guard from Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha, despite being Scout’s 7th ranked prospect in 2016, this is his first time in Colorado participating in a USA Basketball event.
“While a lot of people were on everyone’s radar, I went through the process of freshman to JV to varsity,” Fultz said.
Fultz’ meteoritic rise from off the radar to a five-star prospect over the last year and a half has been well-documented and participating in USA Basketball was a natural next step for him.
“It’s an honor to be here and I’m lucky to be here with the best kids in my class. I want to represent myself well,” Fultz said.
It was an impressive first morning in action for Fultz, who used his unique combination of size, length, athleticism, handle and ability to score with his jumper and handle to be very productive right out of the gate.
“I’m trying to do the best I can and I think I did pretty well,” he said. “I’m getting the feel of it. It’s a lot of drills we do at my high school so I eased into it pretty easily. I’m trying to be a leader and help the other guys out.”
The fact that Fultz committed to Washington was considered a surprise to many, but in his mind the perfect place for him.
“I think I surprised a lot of people but I wanted to do what’s best for me,” Fultz said. “I’ve always taken a different path. Most people want to stay home but I wanted to try something new and get away."
The relationship Fultz has with Lorenzo Romar and his staff at Washington is a huge reason why he’ll be playing college ball for the Huskies.
“It’s the coaching staff,” Fultz said. “They didn’t just talk to me about basketball, they talked to me about school and how to become a man.
“I don’t have a father so being able to talk to my coach like he’s my father is important.”