Christmas Cuts List To Eight

Rakeem Christmas was receiving an overwhelming amount of college interest. On Monday, the nation's best shot blocker opted to narrow his list to eight schools.

Only eight schools remain for Rakeem Christmas.

After a successful spring and summer where Christmas played his way into Scout.com's Top 5, the 6-foot-9, 210-pound power forward has decided to take the next step in his recruitment

"We are happy to get to this point and start looking at a smaller list more carefully," said Amira Hamid, Christmas' aunt and legal guardian.

"It's been hectic and confusing," Christmas told Scout.com. "I was just trying to find a good fit. I'm just looking at each one carefully and seeing which one fits the best."

Christmas, who is transferring to Bryn Athyn (Pa.) Academy of the New Church, is now considering Baylor, Florida, Georgetown, Indiana, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas and Villanova.

"He has been receiving scholarship offers since the 8th grade," Hamid said. "With such an overwhelming number of schools interested in him, it was important that we did our due diligence with finalizing this list."

"I appreciate the interest that many coaches have in me but these are the schools that my family and I think would be a good fit for me." Christmas stated. "My family and I are thankful to everyone that has offered me a scholarship and participated in my recruiting."

Going forward Christmas, a five star prospect, is focused on his upcoming high school season and the academic work he has ahead of him. With a narrowed list, some may expect Christmas to begin taking college visits, but that's not the plan.

"I think that the transition is going to be pretty challenging for him," Hamid said. "That's going to be our main focus. I want to make sure he's good with his grades and he gets acclimated with the system. That's really the main focus, we aren't really focused on hopping around the country to take a look at schools."

On the court, Christmas has helped Team Final to a handful of titles. Known as a big time shot blocker, Christmas is also a talented rebounder and someone that has really developed his offensive package.

"It's been fun and exciting," Christmas told Scout.com. "I've been playing pretty good and working hard. I'm just trying to get better. I've just been the gym more and workout more."

Christmas is ranked No. 5 overall by Scout.com, and checks in at No. 1 on the center list.


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