Look closely at Samir Sehic in a basketball uniform and he physically and facially resembles his idol Kevin Love. The big man from Texas works daily to pattern his game after the Minnesota Timberwolves star.
At 6-foot-9, 250 pounds, Sehic (Love is listed at 6-10, 243) offers slick post moves but also can do damage from the perimeter. College coaches are noticing.
Sehic reported that Iowa offered him a scholarship last week. The Houston product said the Hawkeyes followed eight other schools, including opportunities from from Davidson, Lehigh, New Mexico and Santa Clara.
"It's been a blessing. I talk to other friends who are being recruited and they get annoyed at times but that's not how I look at it. I look at it in a very positive light. All the hard work you've put in, all the time and sweat, is finally going to pay off," Sehic said.
Sehic's appreciation for his position is aided by his past. His family moved from Bosnia to the United States when his mother was pregnant with him. He was born in Atlanta, moved to Dallas when he was six and spent the last four years in Houston.
"I consider myself a Bosnian even though I was but I was born here in the U.S.," Sehic said.
Sehic zeroed in on his American dream at an early age.
"I really started traveling for basketball in the fifth grade with the Texas Titans. Ever since then, it's been my dream to play major, Division I basketball. That's when I first realized that I could make my dreams a reality if I put in the work," he said.
Sehic said he wasn't always the tallest player on the court but usually he was the strongest one. He did gymnastics and karate to work on coordination.
Sehic's agility for a big body resembles that of Love, although, admittingly, the high school junior has a long way to go before matching the NBA All-Star.
"I admire and try to model my game after Kevin Love. I like to pick and pop. I like to bruise inside and am shifty with my footwork and like to go up and under. I'm good in the post but I'm also confident in my outside shot. I can go out to the three-point line," Sehic said.
"Recruiting doesn't take up a lot of my time but I do give it time. I like talking to the coaches and building relationships. It's something that I feel is very important. You always want to feel comfortable at the school but the fit with the coaches is something big. Overall, I'm not rushing things or trying to cram in visits. I'm just letting everything flow and taking my time with it," he said.
Iowa became involved with Sehic last summer when he was playing with the Titans at a tournament in Las Vegas, he said. They continued recruiting him throughout his junior season at Houston Cypress Woods High this winter.
"My high school coach (Chris Draudt) was telling me that they really liked me. I ended up having a really good first session (of AAU this spring) and they started to be in contact with me every day. I can't say that I was completely expecting (the Hawkeye scholarship offer) but it didn't come as a surprise, either," Sehic said.
Sehic said he has connected with his lead recruiter at Iowa, assistant Sherman Dillard.
"The whole coaching staff at Iowa just seems to be a great fit so far with everything that they say. They seem very excited with the way that I play so I've really enjoyed them so far," Sehic said.
Sehic likes that the Hawkeyes play in the Big Ten. He said he will visit them sometime in August or September after the AAU season concludes. He's considering majors in Finance and Accounting.
"I'm looking for the best of both worlds, athletically and academically," Sehic said. "Growing up, every kid's dream is to play major D-I basketball. That's exactly what I want to do. I want to play in a big conference and be on a big stage. I'm also very dedicated to my academics. It's something that I cherish. It's about basketball but it's not just basketball."
Sehic said his commitment likely will come in the fall after he's taken all of his visits.