LeBron Camp: Wiltjer Maximizes Summer

There was a singular skills session at the LeBron James Skills Academy on Wednesday. A break in the action gave us a chance to sit down with No. 17 Kyle Wiltjer.

Kyle Wiltjer is pretty good, eh?

The American/Canadian power forward, ranked No. 17 by Scout.com, attends Portland (Ore.) Jesuit in the States but plays for Team Canada as of this summer.

Two weeks ago, Wiltjer canned the game-winning 3-pointer for Canada's bronze medal team at the 18-and-unders in San Antonio. A week prior to his big shot, he made 7 3-pointers in the "Toilet Bowl" game at NBA Camp.

How he wound up wearing Canada's colors was a decision rooted in family history and future opportunity.

Wiljter's sister played on the women's senior national team and his father, who was born in British Columbia, once played on the Canadian national team. Kyle applied for dual citizenship and had the option of trying out for both the Canadian and U.S. U18 squads.

"A goal for me is to play in the Olympics some day and I thought (playing for Canada) would be a good path for me individually."

Individually, Wiltjer is pretty talented. A hybrid four-man with range behind the arc, he's intent on showing coaches and scouts he's got game in the lane. "I'm very confident in my post game," Wiltjer said on Wednesday. "Not a lot of people have seen it because I've been on the perimeter a lot. At this camp, we've got a small team, so this is going to be a good chance for me to show (the inside game)."

There will be a lot of eyes on him this week in Cleveland. Gonzaga, California, Stanford, Washington, Kentucky, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Kansas and Virginia are in the mix. Wiltjer's focus has been on camps but recently he and his family sat down and talked recruiting. He expects to narrow the list down sometime in the next month but didn't rule out the possibility of acting on a gut feeling.

"To be honest, there's no time frame. If after the Peach Jam I find the fit I want … I mean, I would like to take my visits but whenever the fit is good; I'm not a real structured guy."

Whatever he does with the list, mark Gonzaga, Cal and Kansas down as three schools that are highly likely to receive visits. "They've all done a great job, it's hard to single out any schools but they've done a great job contacting me and staying involved in my life on and off the floor."

Wiljter's criteria are black and white and he's worked on the facets of his decision. "I picked three things: style of play, coaching and incoming players. That's big to me. Location doesn't matter but if I have the right point guard to get me the ball that's big."

All things being equal, Wiltjer would stay closer to home but emphasized "fit" over geography. Besides, when you've spent the better part of the last month on a worldly stage, what's an extra plane ride to get home anyway?

How cool has the last month been playing for Team Canada? Well, it's not everyday a kid gets to rattle the chain of an NBA star.

"I remember hitting the last shot (for Canada) and we were playing Argentina. Manu Ginobili was in the crowd and he was shaking his head right after I hit it. That was probably my best basketball memory."

Surely there is more to come.

Scout Hoops Top Stories