ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Alfred Hollins is tough to miss, even on a loaded Oakland Soldiers 16U team that includes 2017 guards Damari Milstead and Remy Martin, and 2017 power forward Ira Lee. Hollins is quick, powerful and plays with a high motor, fighting for rebounds one minute and nailing three’s the next.
He opened the Soldiers’ afternoon game with two straight threes, and fought in the low post for rebounds to keep Oakland ahead by a healthy margin in a game decided by more than 25 points. Even with the game well in-hand, Hollins didn’t slow down. College coaches in attendance included San Diego State, USC and California, and while Lee provided much of the hard-banging power, Hollins came away with the biggest boost to his recruiting profile.
LSU, Florida State, Virginia and UC Santa Barbara have all come in recently, and more schools should soon jump in.
There is one school, though, that sticks out, and that’s Berkeley. Hollins said he speaks with the Bears and assistant Yanni Hufnagel “often,” about once ever two weeks.
“I love it,” Hollins said of Cal. “It’s a good coaching staff. They’re humble, they’re willing to teach and they want to be there like a father figure.”
Hollins has yet to start taking unofficial visits, but wants to see Arizona, North Carolina and the Bears, who have offered his Soldiers teammate Milstead, and are very interested in Lee, already.
The old coaching staff had just begun to recruit Hollins, but nearly as soon as the new staff took over, they ramped up their targeting of the 6-foot-5 small forward.
“They started talking to me early this year,” said Hollins, before immediately volunteering that Berkeley’s proximity to his San Francisco home was a huge plus.
“It’s close to home; I love it,” Hollins said. “It’s very tempting. They’re in my top three.”
All of that, without prompting. Hollins has certainly thought about playing for the Bears more than a few times, and he’s spoken about it with Milstead more than a few times, as well.
“They’re in my top three to the end,” Hollins said. “Damari’s my guy. I’ll go over there at night, and we don’t talk about recruiting a lot, but we do talk about how it would be to go to Cal together.”
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