UNC Wilmington head coach Benny Moss built a strong relationship with Jerel Stephenson and in the long run that was the difference, as he picked up a verbal commitment from the Augusta (Ga.) Glen Hills standout.
"They didn't miss a game of his all spring or summer," Stephenson's AAU coach Curtis Wheeler said. "His relationship with the head coach played a role too because he's known him since the 9th grade. They came in-home today and got it done."
"Just the great relationship I have with Coach Moss [was the biggest factor]," Stephenson said. "I've known him for four years and we've built a close relationship and I feel so comfortable around him."
Moss made the trip to Georgia on Sunday to do an in-home visit with Stephenson. During the visit Stephenson realized how comfortable he is around Moss.
"It went real good," Stephenson, who is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound SG, said. "We sat down and talked about school. We watched TV and I felt like I could be myself around him and he just felt like family."
Stephenson, who is planning to trip to UNC Wilmington for midnight madness, also liked the fact that he could make an instant impact at the CAA school. According to his AAU coach he'll bring a little of everything to the table.
"He can get to the rim and is strong, can post, rebound and pass it," Wheeler said. "He's just got to work on his shot. He's the jack-of-all-trades and can do a lot of things well. He mainly just needs to work on his shooting."