GREENSBORO, N.C. — Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.) big man Ian Steere turned some heads early in the spring evaluation period, leading to a big-time offer from the Kansas Jayhawks.
“I feel like in New York I garnered a lot of attention. That brought a lot of head coaches into Indiana.,” Steere said. “I’ve improved on some things, and asked coaches what I needed to work on. I worked on that in Indy, and it paid off.”
His play those first two weekends got the attention of coaches from Clemson, Old Dominion, UConn and Kansas.
“They are all fighting equally,” Steere said. “I gets calls and texts from those coaches often.”
He’s hearing most often from KU assistant Norm Roberts.
“They say they are losing a lot of guys, and there will be minutes to play,” Steere said. “They think I would be a great addition to their program and there would be minutes right away. I would have a great opportunity to start.
“We talk about the culture at Kansas, and the past greats from there. The work I need to put in to get to Kansas.”
The Kansas offer was a thrilling moment for the 6-foot-9 Team Charlotte center.
“It was exciting. I wasn’t expecting it. I feel like I deserve it with the hard work I’ve put in,” Steere said. “I feel like I’m a bit of an unknown still, but I can compete with a lot of these bigger-name guys.
“I’m starting to get a target on my back, but I’m ready for it. I’m not going to let the pressure get to me.”
Steere said the incredible tradition and culture at Kansas are both a huge draw.
“They have a great culture at Kansas. That’s one of the Blue Bloods of college basketball,” he said. “They win consistently. If I go there, I feel like I would have a great chance to be a part of a special culture.”
Steere is embracing the defensive focus from Team Charlotte coach Jeff McInnis.
“I want to improve on my defensive game, particularly on the perimeter and the pick-and-roll,” he said. “I don’t want to be an easy target, so I’m really focusing on that.”
Though he wants to find a spot to launch a professional basketball career, academics is also important to Steere.
“Academics are key. I don’t want to take an easy route. I want a hard-fought degree that will help me in my later on in life,” he said. “I want to find a college atmosphere where I can thrive as a player and hopefully be blessed enough to play at the next level. I’m also looking for a great relationship with coaches and staff.”