Illini Offer 2018 PG

Talented St. Louis-area PG Courtney Ramey landed an offer after his visit Sunday. See what he had to say about his time on campus.

Illinois hosted one of the top 2018 point guards in the Midwest on Sunday when Webster Groves (MO) PG Courtney Ramey came up to Champaign-Urbana to see the Illini campus.

And as soon as he got there, Ramey already felt welcome.

"It went really well," Ramey said of the visit. "They treated me really well. It was like a home atmosphere. I liked the talks we had."

Several things caught Ramey's eye while he was in town, but most impressive to him were the upgrades taking place to the State Farm Center and the interaction between the coaches and the players.

"The new arena and the practice facilities were nice," Ramey said. "The way the coaches were involved with the kids. They treated the kids like they were family."

Up until this visit, Ramey knew Illinois was very interested in him since the Illini coaches had made a majority of his games during the live period. Due to NCAA rules, the coaches aren't able to call or text 2018 prospects yet, but the Illinois coaches' presence made a statement to Ramey.

"Before the visit, they came to almost all my games in July," he said. "But we hadn’t talked much on the phone really yet."

And despite knowing that the Illinois coaches had watched him intently all summer, Ramey was a bit caught off guard when Coach Groce extended a scholarship offer to him.

"I had a big smile on my face," Ramey said, excited. "It was a little unexpected, but I appreciated that they did it."

Ramey has already collected offers from Missouri, Ole Miss, Illinois, Jacksonville State, and Kansas State. In addition to those schools, Arkansas, SLU, Purdue, Cal, and Ohio State are all expressing significant interest and Ramey believes they could offer soon.

One of the big reasons Ramey believes that he has seen his college interest spike this summer is because of he and his Southwest Ramey Jets teammates' performance on the grassroots circuit.

"I think it helped a lot," he said. "We had a good team and we all played well in the spring. It drew a lot of attention to us."

The young point guard has exceptional vision for his age. A quick, exciting player with the ball in his hands, Ramey is already displaying he has a bright future ahead of him.

He credits fellow Jets teammate and top 2018 prospect Carte'Are Gordon for making his life a lot easier on the court. The two play off of each other well and cause problems for opposing teams.

"I like to play uptempo," he said. "I like to show that I can score in transition and have vision. We had Carte’Are running on the wing sometimes, too, so it helped having the big man that can finish. I think having him frees me up to play in space. My high school coach uses me in a lot of ways to help me do things I originally didn’t think that I could do."

Gordon, who also holds an offer from Illinois among several others, is someone Ramey could see himself joining forces with at the next level.

"We talk about playing together all the time," Ramey said. "It would be good if we did."

The St. Louis area is seeing a resurgence in prep basketball talent on the horizon. Sparked by players like Jayson Tatum and Tyler Cook, the 2017 and 2018 classes in the St. Louis Metro area is about as talented as it has been in years.

Ramey hopes that players like him, Gordon, Jeremiah Tilmon, Jordan Goodwin, Torrence Watson, Javon Pickett, and several others continue to play like they have to prove something.

"I think especially in 2017 and 2018, I think St. Louis area is going to be back on the map as far as talent," he said. "I think we play with a chip on our shoulder. We’ve all been doubted, so we want to show people how st. Louis ball players get down."

Ramey's father Terrell, who is also Courtney's AAU coach, is a fixture in St. Louis hoops, and has been a strong support for the younger Ramey throughout the early part of the recruiting process.

"My dad has helped me through it," he said. "He’s keeping me grounded and helping me through the process. It’s a long process so I want to take my time."

Ramey has seen a few of the schools on his list already this summer and will see one more on Tuesday. He talked a bit about his visits to two of the SEC programs on his list.

"I’m visiting SLU tomorrow and then I’m not sure after that," he said. "I saw Arkansas and Mizzou in June. Arkansas is a really good program. It’s a big school and they treat their players like family, too. Mizzou is close to home, and I feel like if I went there I’d be putting them back on the map."

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