Larry Austin Has Summer To Remember

The USA 16 and Under basketball team featured four Illinois players, and all of them raised their stock with their outstanding play. None moreso than Springfield Lanphier point guard Larry Austin. He says colleges have increased their interest in him as a result.

People within the state of Illinois have known about Larry Austin for awhile, but after his play in Mexico for the USA 16U team, he started becoming a nationally known name. His updated school list reflects this.

"UConn, Arizona, Ohio State, Illinois, Georgetown, Tennessee, and Xavier are some of the schools in the mix."

At this point, he does not currently hold any offers. But recruiting is not his main focus anyway.

"No not really. I am staying humble about it and keep working on my game."

Where does he stand with the Illini?

"I like how they have a good friendship between the team. The coaches are great. The program is great. The athletic facilities are awesome. Bruce (Weber) is a good coach and Jerrance(Howard) is a good recruiter."

Howard is Austin's lead recruiter. He discussed their bond.

"It is a good relationship. We are always laughing, and he is at all of our games. He is a great guy."

Howard was front and center for several of Austin's AAU games in July, including several in Ft. Wayne at the end of July. What is it like to have all the college coaches watching?

"It is pretty good. I know they are watching me play. I have to get others involved; I can't hog the ball. It is a nice experience for me. I have to continue to stay humble about it and work hard."

During the evaluation periods, Austin played with his main team Mid-American Elite and then with the Peoria Irish the last weekend.

"July was pretty good. Our team Mid-American Elite did pretty good as we have been making it to the final four, but we don't have that extra thing to take us over the top. The summer went pretty well."

He has been working hard at developing into a pure point guard.

"I make plays to get others open, but at the same time I can create my own shot when needed. I like to make plays to get other people open and get assists. I like to run the team."

He enjoyed representing the USA with its 16 and Under team.

"The USA experience was great. We played against some of the top players in the country. Everybody on the court could play. Going against them every day in practice made me work harder and get better."

Winning the championship provided a tangible reward as well.

"It was a great experience to have the gold medal around your neck, playing well, and representing your country."

It was even more special because of how big his role was with the team.

"I thought I played pretty good. I distributed the ball and played great defense. I made plays for other guys to get open.

"I got to turn a couple of heads down there, but I still have to get in the gym. I have to get shots up and work hard. Overall, July was a good month for me."

Austin was joined on the USA team by Illinois prospects Jabari Parker, Jahlil Okafor and Kendrick Nunn.

"Jahlil and I have been friends for awhile. I have been friends with Paul White for awhile too. I knew Jabari before, but I became good friends with him and Kendrick down there."

He is eager to bring what he learned this summer back to Springfield Lanphier next season.

"I am looking forward to winning games. I hope they put me at the point guard, but if not I have to work through it or talk to Coach about it. I like to run the point."

Austin is looking forward to being a leader with Lanphier next season.

"I think I gained my teammates' trust by working hard every single day in practice. We all work hard. They see that stuff, so I think it is going to carry over to the court this year.

This year, I am going to be more vocal in practice and try to gain more respect from them to get us where I want."

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