Freshman Charles Matthews didn't have to wait long to join the Chicago St.Rita varsity basketball team.
"Yes, I went straight to varsity. It went great. Our season wasn't as good as we wanted. We fought very hard, and we continued to get better."
He expects better things ahead despite the youthfulness of his team.
"I think we've got the youngest team in the state. We lost six seniors this year. We have to come back and play hard, with intensity. We've still got enough players to compete."
Among them is his brother Dominique and fellow 2014 prospect Vic Law, a 6'-6" small forward. Fortunately for the Matthews brothers, they don't play the same position.
"I like to get others involved, as well as do my own scoring. My brother is such a great scorer, so it's very easy to play with him."
St. Rita also plays AAU ball, calling themselves the Mustangs.
"Our coach wants us to play together, so we play up with the 17U teams. I will be playing with the Mustangs in July as well. The 17s provide better competition."
Since the Mustangs had the first weekend in May off, Matthews joined the Meanstreets 15U team for a tournament in Fort Wayne.
"Things have been going great. We won three of our first four tournaments. We just try to play hard each game."
The 6'-4", 170 pounder has an exciting, evolved game for someone so young. Before he's through, he could become the cream of the 2015 class in Illinois. He describes his game.
"I like to use my size against smaller defenders. I can pass and dribble, and I have a quick first step. I like to get my teammates involved by getting into the lane. I'm gonna try to work on my speed and become a more consistent shooter."
Arizona was the first school to offer a scholarship, which came as a big surprise. He recently added an Illinois offer. But Matthews is in no hurry to finalize his choice of colleges.
"I only have two offers right now, but I'm trying to be patient with it. When the time comes, I'll make the decision along with my family. But everything is going along well.
"I'm going to wait until my senior year to decide. There's no reason to rush into it and make a decision that I'm not fully happy with. So I will wait it out and weigh all my options."
He wants more than basketball at the college of his choice.
"I'd like a school with great atmosphere, a good coaching staff. I'd like to see how the school is outside of basketball as well."
Illinois is definitely interested. Matthews knows a little bit about new coach John Groce and his style of play.
"I've watched them, but I haven't been down there or anything yet."
When advised he will no doubt be recruited heavily by the Illini, he responded in the affirmative.
"I hope so."
For Matthews, the sky is the limit. He and his St. Rita teammates will continue their growth process with the 17U Mustangs. They will take their lumps at times, but the ultimate goal is to compete successfully against perennial state champ Chicago Simeon.
"It's gonna be a tough battle, but we're gonna bring it."