USA Basketball: Three recruiting 2018 PG Elijah Hardy hardest

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Elijah Hardy is one of the west's top point guards in 2018 and is making progressed, as he showed on Saturday at the USA Basketball Junior National Team Minicamp.

When Elijah Hardy showed up to the USA Basketball 16u Trials in June, he was a speedy point guard who showed a lot of promise, yet still was making the transition from prospect to player.

Several months later and the 6-foot, 160-pound 2018 point guard has made some definite strides in his game.

Hardy has always been terrific in transition due to his speed, handle and vision, but he’s becoming a much better shooter and making smarter decisions with the ball.

He has a different level of comfort this time around in Colorado Springs and played well on Saturday.

“I feel a lot better now that I’m used to it,” Hardy said. “My shot hasn’t been all the way on but I’m getting my teammates the ball and helping them score. I think I’ve played well and had plenty of assists.”

Hardy has pushed himself to improve and feels that the work he’s put in has been rewarded.

“I’m making progress,” he said. “I’m getting bigger, stronger and becoming more mature on the court. I’m learning when to make certain plays and when to not make them. I’m more coachable now.”

Scout recently released its initial 2018 Top 25 rankings and while Hardy didn’t make that list, he’s definitely a strong candidate to ultimately end up a prospect who is rated.

Hardy is using not currently being ranked as added motivation to improve.

“I know rankings don’t mean anything but I want to go from a good player to an elite player,” he said. “I’ve been overlooked a lot and it just makes me want to work harder. Not that rankings matter but when I see them, I just want to work harder.”

On the recruiting front, Hardy lists California, Nevada and Montana as the schools recruiting him the hardest and broke down what he likes about each of those programs.

California: “I just like the atmosphere. I like their recruiting class from last year. Berkeley feels like home to me since it’s right by my house.”

Nevada: “When I went there to unofficially visit last week, it felt like a great school. They’re rebuilding and are an up and coming basketball team. I felt at home there too.”

Montana: “I haven’t visited Montana yet but I know the coaching staff and they’re cool. Coach (Chris) Cobb and Travis (DeCuire) are really cool.”

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