It has been a good return to the floor this season for four-star Nojel Eastern. The versatile perimeter player suffered an ankle injury during the spring which forced him to miss significant time. Now he is back and his junior year is off to a good start.
About his return to the court, Eastern said, “I’m still getting my wind back a little bit, but every day I practice I’m getting better and better. Still the body is feeling good, nothing hurts, and I am just going to continue to get my wind back and continue to play basketball.”
On the recruiting trail Eastern has offers from schools such as Michigan State, Illinois, DePaul, Northwestern, Xavier, Purdue, UNLV, Missouri, Marquette, and others.
One of the schools that has been recruiting Eastern the hardest is Michigan State, and they were his most recent visit.
“My latest visit was to Michigan State over a month ago,” said Eastern. “It is always great when I go there. Coach (Tom) Izzo and Coach (D.J.) Stephens are great guys, and it is a great campus. Michigan State is somewhere that I think I fit in well with the offense. I love their intensity in practice. Michigan State is a great environment with great people.”
The school that is easiest for Eastern to visit is Northwestern. The Northwestern campus is located just minutes from his house, and he says he is building a good relationship with Chris Collins and company.
“They have wanted me for a while, and not too long ago they extended an offer,” said Eastern of Northwestern. “It is my hometown, so it is always somewhere to look into. I can go to a lot of games because it is right down the street. I’m looking at their offense and defense and I think I can see myself being successful there.”
Also the in-state Illini have long in pursuit of Eastern, and they continue to ramp up their recruiting efforts.
“I keep in contact with Illinois a lot,” said Eastern. “I try to keep them as updated as possible, and a few former Meanstreets players went there so it is of course good watching them play. I’m just watching and seeing how they would fit.”
Most recently Xavier offered Eastern a scholarship, and he is intrigued by what the Musketeers have to say.
“They said they were there when I got hurt and they were recruiting me,” noted Eastern. “They were I guess keeping in contact with my mom. It was exciting to pick up a Xavier offer and I am definitely open minded.”
For now Eastern is remaining focused on the high school season while also keeping one eye on his recruitment.
“Right now I am just focused on Evanston, but hopefully I can narrow down my recruitment a little bit and figure things out,” explained Eastern.