Gavin Schilling didn't play a high school or AAU game in the last year, but that hasn't stopped schools from recruiting him, including Illinois. Schilling lived in Chicago as a freshman but spent the last year in Germany.
"I started out playing football at Loyola because they have a great football program," Schilling explains. "I started liking basketball more and wanted to take it more serious. My dad knew a coach in Germany, and he offered me a chance to go to school for a year at one of the top basketball boarding schools in Germany. I got a scholarship to play over there for a year.
"I went to get a taste of the European game and work on my skills. I definitely worked on my shooting and my moves. My mom and I started looking at different high schools for this year, and De La Salle seemed to show a lot of interest. I knew about Mike Shaw being there and how they have Alex Foster coming back."
His time was well spent at Ursprink Academy as he continued to develop his game. This summer, he played with De La Salle at the DePaul team camp and showed scouts what a special prospect he is.
In two days at the camp, he established himself as a top 20 player in the 2013 Illinois class, with the potential to move up. Scouts were impressed with his strong post game, where he finished through contact, as well as his ability to step out and hit shots. He discusses his game.
"I am a mid-range guy that can post up. I need to work on my ball handling because we play a lot of fast break here at De La Salle. I like to show my post moves and turnaround jumper."
Unfortunately for Schilling, the DePaul team camp also brought his summer on the court to a screeching halt.
"It was Tuesday, June 21st, and I had planned on going back to Germany with my dad. I tried to go up for a dunk and jumped too far away from the rim. He jumped with me and fouled me. I lost my balance and landed on my left wrist.
"As soon as it happened, I noticed my wrist was a little deformed and knew I broke it. They rushed me to the hospital, and they had to relocate it. I was in a splint for a week. The following week I had surgery.
"I went back to Germany to finish up school. I returned to Chicago on August 3rd and got my cast off two weeks later. I have been going to rehab two times a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is going real good so far as I am getting the rotation back. I should be back playing by the end of September. Things are looking real good."
Schilling is looking forward to getting on the floor with his new team.
"I am really excited for this season. I am telling the guys everyday at school I can't wait to get back on the court with them. Everybody's mindset for this year is to win state. I am going to try to help the team out as much as I can. I get along with the guys real well, and we have good chemistry."
Illinois has been recruiting him for a couple of months.
"My mom talked to coach (Bruce) Weber right before I left for Germany, which was mid-July. Coach Jay Price has been talking to me on Facebook."
Monday night, Schilling spoke with Weber on the phone.
"It went well. We talked about how Illinois just came back from Europe this summer. He was telling me about how it went, and we talked about Germany for a little bit.
He said I could come down the 10th, 17th, or 24th for a football game and see the campus. He talked about some of the guys on the team like Mike Shaw. I have to talk to my mom about what is the best day for us to come."
Schilling emerged from the chat with a good feel for Weber.
"He is a real nice guy. I can tell he is funny and has a good sense of humor. He gets along with everybody on the team. I think he would be a great coach for me too."
He is looking forward to the prospect of visiting the Big 10 school.
"I hear it is a pretty big school and a nice one too. It will be a great experience to see the facilities. I am excited to visit down there."
The junior already has quite a few schools checking on him including Loyola, Providence, Rhode Island, Cal, Xavier, Iowa, Oregon State, Northern Illinois, DePaul, and Notre Dame. He is in no rush to make a decision; he is getting a general feel for each school at this time.
Illinois has put itself in great position with Schilling early. He could see his stock rise this high school season.