Early Efforts Working With Nation's Best

He’s described as one of the best players in high school basketball regardless of class, and he’s got a number of high major programs already recruiting him hard. We spoke with both Marvin Bagley, Jr and Marvin Bagley, Sr. to get the rundown on where things sit at this early stage for 2018’s top rated prospect.

ONE ON ONE WITH Marvin Bagley, JR

Sounds like things went well at Peach Jam and throughout the summer…

I felt great about the summer, but it didn’t end for how we planned for it to end. But, it was a great learning experience and all we can do is learn from it. It was a great experience.

What was your favorite or toughest matchup?

All the games were tough, it’s Peach Jam so everybody is going to bring their best games. My favorite game was the CP3 game, the last time we played them they beat us, so we were just ready for this game and we came out fighting from the beginning, it was a hot game, it was a fun game to be in and that was my favorite game to be in.

What did it mean to you to see all the media and coaches on the sidelines at your games?

I really didn’t think about it too much. I definitely saw and it was a weird feeling knowing they were on the sideline at first, but then we just told ourselves to focus on this game and do what you have been doing and keep playing the way you’ve been playing and just do whatever you can do to help the team win, it was a blessing for me to be on the court when they were watching me. I never thought that I would be playing on the court where a lot of coaches were there watching me, so it was a great experience.

Which coaches caught your eye from being on the sideline at your games?

Every last one of them. They really didn’t have to come watch us play since the U17 guys were playing who are closer to going to actually going to college. They could have been watching them, so the fact they were watching our team play, I was just so blessed and thankful that we could play on this stage and everybody could come see us.

Were there any programs that surprised you by being on the sidelines at your games?

Not really, all the coaches are great, they are great coaches and they do what they do. Like I said, it’s a blessing they were even there because they could have been anywhere else and they were there at our games, so I’m just thankful they were there to watch our games. I’m looking forward to getting back into the gym and getting ready for next year. Like I said before, it didn’t end how we wanted it to end at Peach Jam and we just gotta keep working and be ready to go for next year, we’ll be back.


What are your thoughts on how Marvin’s AAU team summer season progressed?

I just want to thank God first of all for putting us in a great situation and for God just directing our path. The summer has been really, really fun. We’ve been traveling during the summers since middle school but this one has been special and fun because the competition was multiplied times 5 from what we were used to which was fun.

How did the opportunity arise for the team to compete in the Peach Jam?

We were prepared to play with Marvin’s team We All Can Go. We had a lot of calls to change teams and go to EYBL and whatnot, we just wanted to show some loyalty to his team because Marvin enjoys playing with those guys and those coaches because they give him a chance to play and develop. We just decided to stay committed and loyal and the opportunity came about from the program in the EYBL, I don’t know the details about it, but when we got the call we were excited it about and all ready to go.

What did it mean to you personally to see all those college coaches on the sideline in part because of your son?

Man it was awesome, it was kinda surreal. You know these guys exist and you kinda get the heads up that there’s going to be a lot of coaches there, but when you look and see Coach K and Coach Cal and you see all these other head coaches, Sean Miller all in the building at once, that’s amazing man, that’s amazing. It’s just one of those things that you have to thankful and you have to appreciate how blessed you are.

Had you been having a fair amount of contact with those coaches before the games that you saw on the sidelines?

Not in particular, it’s just the reputation of the EYBL you know what I mean. I was told that they usually don’t attend the 16U games, but once we got there it was completely the opposite, it was coaches everywhere. I guess they wanted to see us, I was under the impression that the 17U of the EYBL was where the coaches are, but we were thankful that they did think enough of us to come see us.

Were there any coaches on the sidelines that caught you by surprise or just caught your attention in general being there?

We noticed them all, there’s no particular coaches that we wanted to see. It’s still very early in the process. Me personally, I was surprised to see Dan Majerle, he lives in Arizona and he’s at Grand Canyon University, they offered Marvin a few months back. I was surprised to see him front row, he’s a familiar face. I’m not saying there’s any particular interest in the school, I was just surprised to see a familiar face on the front row with somebody that I’ve already met and spoken with.

Were there any programs you noticed who had more than one member of the coaching staff at Marvin’s games?

Oh yeah, I saw four Duke coaches at a game, I saw a couple coaches from Arizona and Kentucky had multiple coaches there. It was quite a few schools that were there and like I said, we had heard that most of these coaches don’t watch 16U who were there, so I guess they had some free time to come out and see us. It was quite a few schools that had multiple coaches there for the games.

How did you guys react to seeing all four Duke coaches at the same game?

It was exciting man, we had just me those guys not too long ago on a visit, so it was good to see them.

After Peach Jam—did you hear from any of the college coaches who were at his games on the phone or through text?

Yeah I have regularly communication with the coaches from Kentucky, from Duke, Oregon, U of A, just the regular conversations that we have.

What was the feedback from those programs after the Peach Jam?

There were some new schools that actually threw themselves in the mix. I had had communication with Cal, Coach Martin at Cal, I’ve communicated with him but they actually showed some interest in Marvin and they offered him after Peach Jam. Louisville offered and the University of Tennessee offered. Those were actually differences in the communication but I had no prior communication with Tennessee and Louisville, I guess they liked what they saw and they wanted to offer after the Peach Jam.

How did you guys react to the new interest and new offers from after the Peach Jam?

It was huge man, I guess they liked what I saw. We still have a lot to work on but I guess they figured we are on the right path. We’re appreciative and thankful. Western Kentucky actually offered the entire starting 5 of Marvin’s AAU team. That was big for the team and for the program. It’s still early in the process, nobody has actually said anything that’s over the board unusual, it’s just been the usual keep working and we’re interested, that kind of thing.

In the grand scheme of things, did you guys as parents take any message from any of the programs who showed up with multiple coaches at Marvin’s games at the Peach Jam?

I don’t know to be honest, you can’t read too much into things, it was just good that they actually even wanted to show up. Even the schools that just had one coach at a game, that says a lot because they took the time out to come see the team and we’re appreciative of that. If they didn’t have two or three that’s fine, whatever coaches showed up for the games, we were just so appreciative that they took the time out to come see us play. They could have been anywhere, I’m pretty sure they were busy with other things as well as coming to see us play.

You’ve mentioned previously that reclassification may be an option for Marvin in the future, has there been any further discussions about that either way?

No we haven’t really spoke about it, we’re just enjoying the summer, enjoying the free time they have and enjoying the extra time we have to get better. Other than that, we haven’t really put too much into thinking about re-classing.

Are there any future visits in the works?

As of right now we haven’t had anything scheduled. I’ve spoken with a couple of schools that said they would like to get us down if we have the chance, but we hadn’t anything set up yet. Everything is just over the phone right now, we don’t have any other visits planned as of yet.

When you think development with Marvin in the future after seeing how he’s played this summer—what’s the next steps for him development wise in your mind?

Just getting stronger, that’s the first thing on our list. We’ve been focusing a lot on skill work and trying to develop from a skill standpoint. Getting physically stronger should be the top priority now, that’s something we’re going to work on especially if we re-class up to the next grade. Getting stronger is what we are considering as one of the main priorities right now. We’re going to do it the old school way, we’re not going to go through any hoops, whistles and bells and work hard.

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