Releford Back in Action

Travis Releford, Scout.com's fourth-ranked player in the Class of 2008, has returned to the court after a lengthy absence. A transfer move and an injury have kept the big-time guard on the sidelines since January. Now Releford is back and ready to prove he's still one of the elite players in the nation.

Give Travis Releford a break if he's not playing like a future McDonald's All-American this summer. It's been a while.

The 6-foot-4 ½, 195-pound hasn't an organized game in the past six months. He transferred from Kansas City Central High (Mo.) to Bishop Miege in January and was ineligible for the rest of the season due to transfer rules.

Shortly before he was set to play with his KC Pump ‘N Run team in April, he dislocated his right ankle in a church league game.

``I didn't even want to play in the game, but my mom made me go," Releford said. "In the first two minutes, I went up to block a shot and someone came down on my ankle."

``I can't wait to get out there," said Releford, who averaged 22.7 points, 7 boards and 5 assists as a freshman at Central. "I've just been working hard."

Releford (Scout.com, No. 4) is currently at the Nike Hoop Jamboree, but his first test on a big stage will come in a couple weeks when he goes up against the nation's top players at the adidas Superstar Camp.

Releford admits it was difficult to watch his teammates in April, especially because he chose to make numerous trips with his KC Pump ‘N Run team for moral support.

``I did it before," Releford said. "When I was younger, I had to sit out after I broke my collarbone in the eighth grade. Then I broke my toe at the nationals in eighth grade."

Despite the fact he hasn't played in an organized game since right around the turn of the new year, Releford said he was glad he made the decision to transfer out of Central. He said the reason he went to the school in the first place was because of his older brother, who ended up quitting the team, anyway.

``I just didn't like it there," he said. "It wasn't right for me."

There's a reason why Releford ranks fourth in the country in the Class of 2008 and some compare him to Miami Heat star Dewayne Wade. He's a big-time scorer who can defend, rebound and also make his teammates better.

``He's a warrior who plays so hard and brings a lot of intangibles to the floor," KC Pump ‘N Run coach L.J. Goolsby said. "He's obviously athletic and can create and get to the basket. He's also a really good passer."

``Once he gets the opportunity to play, he's going to go back to dominating," added Goolsby. "It'll just take him a couple more weeks to get back into game shape."

Releford said that Kansas has made him a priority, but he maintains that he'd like to get further away than the 45 or so minutes it takes him from his home to Lawrence, Kan.

``I always wanted to go somewhere far," he said.

Releford also mentioned Texas, North Carolina, Duke, Illinois, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma and Missouri as schools that are currently in the mix.

He knows that it's out of sight, out of mind for some people – and he hasn't been on the court for a while.

``I want to come back strong and win," Releford said. "I want to make sure they didn't forget about me. I'll make sure they won't forget about me."


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