After a freshman season that saw him average just over 24 points a game, the 6-4 shooting guard has become the talk of the local hoops scene. Not only is his name well known in the KC Metro area, Travis Releford’s name is quickly becoming well known on the national circuit. Still, he remains remarkably humble and speaks with the maturity of somebody many years his superior.
“It’s alright and it’s a lot of fun, I’ve just got to try to not get a big head, play my game and do what I do,” said Releford. “I try to stay calm, not force a whole a lot and just do the right things.”
A regular at Kansas home games last winter, Releford has spent much of the spring and summer traveling the country with his club team KC Pump ‘N Run. As a result he’s already been followed by college coaches and has a couple of early favorites even though he’s a long way from making a decision.
“Iowa and Kansas really, I’ve seen their coaches at a lot of my games and they are showing me the most attention,” Releford told Phog.net. “Mizzou, Nebraska, Illinois, Miami, Virginia and others are on me too. I don’t know, I haven’t really thought about all of that yet.”
Unlike many of his peers who have earned early accolades because of freakish athleticism or the willingness to take a ton of shots, Releford has earned his reputation in a different manner. Sure he can put up huge numbers -- we’re talking about a kid who went for 43 in his second (!) varsity game -- and yes he is a big-time athlete -- he can already do a between the legs dunk -- but more than anything he’s a basketball player.
He’s got solid fundamentals, shoots well to three point range, has the handle of a point guard, plays defense and is a superb rebounder for his size. However, it is his remarkable poise and control that truly sets him apart from others.
“I think his poise on the court for a player that age is tremendous, you just don’t see many kids who are that patient on the court,” said L.J. Goolsby, one of Releford’s coaches on KC Pump ‘N Run. “In all reality he plays like a veteran on the court, you wouldn’t think he’s only 15 years old when you watch him play.”
After getting a taste of the club circuit and his first shoe camp -- Adidas recent Top 10 camp for underclassmen -- Releford thinks his career is off to a good start.
“I think I’ve done good out there,” said Releford. “Playing with people out of town, you get to know each other and start playing as a team and then you start winning and stuff.”
He’s already noticed that his notoriety has caused other players to come at him a little harder.
“When I play schools everybody wants to come at me and guard me because they hear that I’m the best around the state,” says Releford who avoids calling himself the best. “That’s what people say but I don’t get into all of that.”
With three seasons of high school basketball to go, Releford understands that being top dog now doesn’t guarantee anything for the future. While others in his class will be driven by rankings, he’s got other priorities.
“They (rankings) don’t matter to me,” said Releford. “What drives me? Winning. I like winning, I don’t like losing.”