One on one with Semi Ojeleye

Having recently visited Durham, 6-foot-6 small forward prospect Semi Ojeleye is now back on the summer circuit. At the NBAPA Top 100 Camp he spoke with TDD about his experiences at camp, in the recruiting process, and more.

Being so highly regarded in your class, what's it like competing here at the NBA Top 100 Camp?

Semi Ojeleye: First of all it's a real blessing from God to know I'm in this position, and it's His blessings that have granted me the talent I have. Also, it keeps me motivated knowing that all the time I've spent working is beginning to pay off.

What have you taken away from this camp in terms of your personal development?

Just a lot of the little things on the court that are important to do if you want to get to the next level. It's not so much about how athletic you are that's important but it's also about the little things like your footwork & the mindset you take onto the court.

Your brother has been mentioned as someone who has a major influence on you, can you elaborate on what he shares with you being a former college basketball player?

We talk some about lifts in the weight room and how to lift the right way with explosive lifts. He also tells me about my footwork and how much more physical the game is in college-stuff like that.

Your brother played for a very demanding coach in college in Coach Martin. What kind of coach do you think you want to play for in college?

Coach Martin was definitely a demanding coach, and that helped my brother. I think that's something I can adapt to as well in college.

I understand that you had a recent unofficial visit to Duke. What was the experience like for you?

It was good I got to talk with Coach K, Coach Collins, and Coach Wojo. They talked with me about how they want me there and they think I can really play well at Duke. There's people that will talk down about Duke, and how maybe it's too big-time so they really wanted to share with me that they believe I can play there and how much they want me to play for them.

What kind of people make those comments to you about Duke?

When I get advice sometimes from not necessarily an AAU coach, but maybe an opposing coach in AAU or college,they'll be like I heard you went and visited Duke….I wouldn't go there if I was you.

Part of the Duke pitch seemed to talk about playing a lot of positions, what were your thoughts on that?

They talked about me playing some four if they were to go to a smaller lineup, but they also mentioned that as my ball-handling improves I could play the two, three, or four for them. Mainly it's not something where they are going to stick me down in the post and forget about me. They spread the floor very well so it's not like I wouldn't have any opportunities there to make plays. They really emphasized the freedom I'd have within the offense-like their system is designed for players to have space to do different things and to be who you are as a player-whatever your position is. There seems to be lots of opportunities for me to play there and do different things.

Now that you've visited Durham, has your interest level in Duke changed?

I would say its very high. We took the time to take a couple days to go visit them, and it was a long trip and a big sacrifice for my family to make to travel that far. It's definitely something we want to consider seriously since we did go so far to spend a few days with them.

How are you moving forward with your process now?

I'm hoping to get out to Indiana next week but if that doesn't work out I can just take officials in the fall.

What schools do you already know for sure that you want to take an official to?

I definitely want to go back to Duke. I'd like to visit UCLA, Arizona, Indiana, and maybe Wisconsin as well

What is about those schools that are meriting your consideration for an official?

It's mostly because those are the schools I have had a good amount of contact with, and they are big time programs in my mind. The coaching staffs have indicated that I have a real opportunity to play there.

I wanted to also ask you Semi about the recent Kansas City article that states Duke is your leader. Do you think it was fair for the article to say that or do you feel differently about it?

I guess I don't know. I haven't talked with my dad about it yet so I'm not sure. If they are not my leader I think they are still right at the top for me. I don't want to name a leader because other schools are going to come at me and be like what do we have to do to get up there. I want to take my time and make sure I give everyone a fair shot.

Can you describe with other schools what is causing you to seriously evaluate them?

With Arizona I'm thinking about them a lot because they have a big opening for me that would let me play there right away. With Stanford, my parents really like Stanford and Coach Dawkins is doing a good job. I'm also looking at Oregon, UCLA, and Wisconsin as well.

How has the phone contacts been since the rules kicked in?

There's been a lot but I haven't responded to anybody yet. I've heard from Coach Wojo at Duke, Coach Crean, Coach Altman from Oregon, Coach Groce from Illinois, and I got a call from Arizona.

Can you share more about the pitch from Arizona and how are they approaching you?

With Coach Miller…he really reached out to all my family and let them know what the deal was. It's a good sign because it's good to me to have the whole family involved.

Coach Crean seemed to be real excited about the phone rules in a tweet he put out the other day. What are your thoughts on the new rules?

I thought it was going to be bad at first, but I'm actually kind of ok with it now.


Blue Devil Digest Top Stories