Jack Improves, Schools Come Calling

Kadeem Jack is rapidly becoming one of the nation's best unsigned players. The power forward out of Rice High takes his first official visit this weekend.

Kadeem Jack's outlook on his basketball career changed dramatically during the course of his senior season. It changed because he willed it to change.

The 6-foot-8 power forward out of Manhattan (N.Y.) Rice hatched a plan. He figured, finish strong, head to prep school and see what happens with an extra year. On the surface, it sounded like a good idea, one that would give himself time to prepare for college.

One problem: Jack got too good too fast.

"I was thinking I was going to go to prep school for a year," Jack said. "I didn't know if I was ready to play at a high level. I knew I was going to work hard and if I needed the extra year I would do it. I wanted to go and make an impact in college.

"And then, what I was doing in practice I started doing it in games. I was more fluid and my game started developing more and I came into my own."

Last week, against Bishop Loughlin, Jack noticed something. Now, there's no turning back: he's a bonafide high-major player. "I was playing good and having some great games. Last week I had 25 and 20 rebounds and I just realized that I took my game to a whole different level. I think I'm more aggressive and have more confidence. Everything feels second nature. I'm just happy to develop my game this much."

This weekend, he'll take his first official visit and it'll be to Arizona. Arkansas, Florida, Seton Hall, St. John's, Miami, Florida International, Providence, West Virginia and now Connecticut are interested.

Prep school? Jack doesn't need it. His options are plentiful. "I would say I don't want to completely give up the prep school thing. If the right college comes along, then I'll take it. I don't want to just go somewhere that the coach is stuffing my head. It's more 90/10 that I'll go to college (next year)."

Why not? He's earned the right.

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