At 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, Ishmael Wainwright tends to stand out in a crowd.
It helps, of course, that the sophomore from Raytown (MO) South High School is one of the top athletes in the Kansas City metropolitan area, regardless of class. As a four-star prospect currently ranked the No. 2 small forward in the Class of 2013, recruitniks and basketball fans know "Ish" when they see him.
So when he suited up with the 16U team of west coast AAU powerhouse last weekend at the Jayhawk Invitational, it didn't take long for word to spread throughout the gyms.
"Close friends," Wainwright said, when asked how he got involved with Dream Vision. "I've been doing Dream Vision since about (the time of) eighth grade nationals - I've seen them play - and ever since then we've just been real close."
Long and athletic with a college-ready body already, the local product help spur Dream Vision to a championship in the 16U division. Here's what Scout.com national recruiting analyst Brian Snow had to say about his play Sunday:
"He is just a beast on the floor, and he asserted his will in the finals of the 16 and under event. Wainwright also had enough legs to be a contributor with the older age group, but as a 16 he rebounded well, made his foul shots and was a force on both ends of the floor, making a big impact against an undersized team."
The potential exists for him to continue playing with Dream Vision until the early summer deadline at which point players must return to teams based more closely to their homes. A fixture with the Kansas City 76ers AAU squad - one of several quality programs in the area - Wainwright indicated he would once again suit up with them, regardless of whether or not he continues to play with Dream Vision in the spring.
Wainwright's prodigious talents have already earned him a great deal of attention from college recruiters - including a recent offer from a Big 12 program.
"It's been crazy so far," he said. "The new coaches at Missouri, Coach (Frank) Haith and Coach (Isaac) Chew, they've been up to the school to recruit me. They offered me right on the spot."