ARDEN, N.C. – Mom and dad played college basketball and were both tall. His brother will lace them up for Stanford in the fall of 2008. His younger brother already wears size 17 kicks. Mason Plumlee, a 6-foot-11 power forward, has hoops in his blood.
The Warsaw, Ind., native enters his second season of ball at Arden (N.C.) Christ School. Both of his brothers – Marshall and Miles – flank him. Miles the senior, is the heart and soul of the squad. Marshall, a freshman, is the last of the trio of towering prospects.
The middle child of the Plumlee clan is Scout.com's No. 39 prospect in the Class of 2009. Mason's strong spring and summer is the reason why guys like UCLA's Ben Howland and North Carolina's Roy Williams, will fly private planes into a tiny airstrip outside of Asheville, N.C., and drive the scenic route up the side of a mountain to Christ School's campus.
David Gaines, Christ School's coach, is mildly concerned about how his kids will handle the attention the big timers bring once they arrive at the gym. He's confident at least one player knows how to handle the extra sets of eyes. "I think the guy that is the least stressed out about it is Mason," Gaines said. "I think he thrives in that environment."
"That environment" alludes to the litany of programs journeying to see his players this fall. In Mason's case, Georgetown, Indiana, Michigan, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Louisville. Notre Dame, Stanford, Clemson and UCLA are planning on sending representatives too and the list gets longer by the day.
As colleges visit players across the nation during the September evaluation period, undoubtedly many kids will feel the pressure and think about committing. Plumlee won't be one of them. "I know a lot of kids have already started committing," Plumlee said. "Personally, I haven't even really thought about it. I just want to focus on our season. Plus I wouldn't make any kind of decision until I've been to the university with my parents."
Notre Dame will host him on an unofficial in early October during Christ School's fall break. Wake Forest, North Carolina and Louisville may also receive unofficials. Being a native of the Hoosier State it's natural to assume IU will be involved. As it stands, they are coming strong.
"Coach Sampson is probably coming at me the hardest," Plumlee said. "Also Georgetown with Coach Thompson and Coach Hunter. Also Coach Beilein as of late and Wake Forest."
Plumlee's going to do his homework when it comes time to decide. He'll visit the campuses, continue building relationships and evaluate his game with that of the college's. "If I develop more a particular system could fit me better. I definitely want to look at how they play and the style; that's important to me."
This year Plumlee's development will come courtesy of his older brother Miles. The 6-foot-10 Miles is the elder statesman on what should be a tremendous team. Practice sessions should be spirited to say the least. Gaines said the Plumlee Boys get a long just fine unless you're down to one sweatshirt for 2 guys.
"We played for a leftover sweatshirt," Mason Plumlee said. "We played a game of one-on-one for it. It came down to a call and (Miles) made the call so I didn't argue. I probably should have."
A year from now when Miles is playing on the West Coast it'll be Mason teaching Marshall what it's like to be a veteran.