2013 Zak Irvin Has Strong Support System

The Fighting Illini basketball team has been recruiting 2012 Hamilton Southeastern guard Gary Harris for a long time now. When he and his team visited Ubben for the Illini team camp in June, a 2013 teammate made sufficient impression to receive a scholarship offer from Illinois. Zak Irvin continued to show during the AAU season why that offer was justified.

Zak Irvin is a talented basketball player from the state of Indiana. He is part of an impressive crop of youngsters from that state who are attracting recruiting interest from far and wide. As an upcoming sophomore at Hamilton Southeastern in Fishers, Irvin is proving to be a deadly jump shooter.

When asked what he does best on the basketball floor, his answer was no surprise.

"I'll probably play the two or three. I shoot the ball pretty well, I play defense, and I'm able to go to the hole."

What does he like to do most?

"Shoot the ball, threes and my midrange jump shot."

The slender 6'-4" athlete's AAU coach Matt Green of the Eric Gordon All-Stars 15 and Under team speaks along similar lines.

"Zak Irvin has a good midrange jumper and has a jump shot all the way back to the three point line. He's a solid defender for us, has a high basketball IQ and comes to play hard every game. Zak's weakness is his ball handling. Once he strengthens up and adds ball handling, that's why he's got the offers he's got."

There is nothing fancy about his game. He has been trained to be efficient, using the least effort for the most good. Once he gets into a rhythm, he can tear a team apart with his high percentage shooting touch.

Irvin has a tremendous support group to help him develop as a player and handle the recruiting. His mother played basketball at Southern Indiana. His dad is at least 6'-6" tall and also had basketball in his past. His grandfather videotapes the EG All-Stars' games. They all do their part to help the younger Irvin along the way.

He has just recently begun to get recognition for his potential, and he thinks he knows why.

"I played JV the whole year. It was tough not playing varsity, but I got to play throughout the year, and I'll be a better varsity player next year."

Still, he has college offers already.

"Illinois and Indiana have offered me."

There are plenty of additional suitors lining up.

"Baylor, Michigan, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Butler, and Purdue."

What is he looking for in a college?

"Academics, team prestige and the coach."

Is he willing to consider schools outside his home state?

"Yes, I am willing to consider schools anywhere."

Illini assistant Jay Price has been the point man for Irvin.

"I like him a lot. I'm just trying to get to know him. I think it's gonna be a nice relationship as the years go on."

Irvin didn't have much time to see the Illinois campus in June, but that will change soon.

"It was a nice campus. I wish I would have been able to see it more. I'm supposed to go down there in September. I like it a lot."

Irvin and his family will travel to Champaign September 7 to watch the Illini vs. Southern Illinois football game and tour the campus on an unofficial visit.

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