Peter Jok Still On Illini List Despite Injury

Although the summer evaluation period is over, recruiting does not stop for the Fighting Illini basketball program. Wednesday night, Bruce Weber spoke with 2013 guard Peter Jok from Iowa. The rising junior is recovering from knee surgery, but that hasn't deterred schools from pursuing him.

When Peter Jok arrived at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, he was already well known as one of the top freshman basketball prospects in the nation. He lived up to the hype with a stellar freshman campaign but suffered an injury at the Nike Hoop Jamboree last summer and struggled with injuries throughout his sophomore year. High major colleges like Illinois still love what he brings to the table and are actively pursuing him.

Jok discussed what happened with his injury.

"I went to the Nike Hoop Jamboree camp last summer, and something happened to my knee. I went to the trainer. He told me to stop playing because it could get worse. I stopped playing and then came back to Iowa. "It felt better, so I thought it was good and I started playing again. As the season progressed, it kept getting worse. I didn't play a lot, but I finished the season off. My mom was in Africa, so I had to wait until she got back before I had the surgery."

He had torn the patella tendon in his knee. Jok is currently in the middle of his rehabilitation.

"It is going pretty good. I am just getting my knees stronger and my quads stronger."

Does he have a timetable for getting back on the court?

"They said the recovery time was four months. This week will be 10 weeks into it. I am doing rehab five days a week. I should be back by October or November."

The 6'-6" guard got a call from Illinois head coach Bruce Weber Wednesday evening. What did they discuss?

"We talked about my knees and how I am doing. We also talked about their trip to Italy, and they want me to come visit."

Weber would like Jok to come to Champaign for a visit this fall. Jok and his guardian are looking at dates. The Illini coach will reciprocate.

"He said they are going to come out to Iowa this fall to watch me work out."

Jok has grown fond of Weber throughout his recruitment.

"He seems like a really cool guy. He is laid back and is cool to talk to. I can talk to him about anything."

The coach had some encouraging advice for him about his injury.

"He said while I have an injured knee I should work on my upper body, which is what I have been doing. He was telling me stories about other players he knew that had injuries and came back stronger. He hopes I can get back soon."

His lead recruiter is Jay Price. The two have built a good relationship over the past two years.

"I talk to Jay Price a lot on Facebook. He keeps me updated on what they are doing. He keeps asking about my knee. My relationship with him is good. I really like him as a coach."

Jok likes all aspects of the Illini program.

"I like their coaching staff. I like the college overall, to be honest. They send me a lot of information about the college. I read through all of it, and it is really interesting. They play hard defense, and they like to push the ball, which I like."

What offers does Jok currently hold?

"From what I know Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Drake, Creighton, Clemson, and Xavier."

Other schools in the mix include Wisconsin and Kansas, schools he also plans to visit in the fall. He is not rushing anything, as it will be awhile before a collegiate decision will be made.

"I want to get back healthy first and see how I do next summer. I will probably make my decision between the end of next summer and the start of the season."

Jok shares what kind of player the school he chooses will be getting.

"I play inside-out. If a guard is defending me, I will take him inside and post him up. If a bigger player is on me, I will take them outside to use my quickness and passing. Being tall and quick at the same time is one of my strengths."

Jok's progress was set back considerably by the injury, but his potential is outstanding. The Illini will continue to be involved strongly in his recruitment.

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