Crazy Time at Late Night

It's not often someone as young as Verdell Jones Jr., gets to take an unofficial visit to a school like Kansas. But the sophomore in high school was in Lawrence for Late Night this past weekend and he was excited about the whole experience.

After arriving on Thursday night, Jones Jr. and his dad had a full Friday planned.  Early Friday morning they took a tour of the campus, before shooting around at Phog Allen Fieldhouse.  After the shoot-around they got a chance to watch some of the Kansas basketball players go through individual workouts.

When the workouts and dinner concluded, Jones Jr. and Sr. headed back to the Fieldhouse for ‘Late Night’ and all of the festivities that it entailed.

“I had a great time.  It was crazy, I mean it was wonderful,” said Jones Jr., of Central HS in Champaign, Illinois.  “People were screaming and yelling.  There were Kansas t-shirts, babies dressed up, and dogs dressed up.  It was crazy.  Yeah, I had a really good time.”

Jones’ dad, Verdell Jones Sr., has been coaching AAU basketball for a little over 10 years.  He's also had quite a few players attend D-1 schools, so he knows what to expect during the recruiting process.  Jones Sr. said he was thoroughly impressed with what Kansas had to offer. 

“It was very, very impressive.  They do it big there.  As a person that loves the game myself, you see what all the excitement is about out there,” he said.  “I think Kansas has some tremendous young talent.  I was really impressed from a basketball standpoint with the overall talent that they’ve got.  It’s just scary athletes.”

The visit was Jones Jr.’s third visit.  He took an unofficial to Illinois and participated in Louisville’s elite camp this summer.  The sophomore in high school also named a few schools that he likes early in the process.  Illinois, Louisville, Kansas, UCLA, Kentucky and Arizona were the six that he named.

However, Jones Jr. is still very young and is open to different schools, but his dad wanted to get the process started off a little earlier than normal.

“He’s pretty open.  I know he named a few schools.  We still want to get a chance to look at [Texas] A&M and Coach Gillisipe,” the elder Jones said.  “Ultimately we are trying to start the process a little earlier so it’s not a mad rush at the end with all the confusion that is sometimes associated with the recruiting process.” 

“Were looking at different programs and certainly when it’s all said and done we hope and pray that he merits the interest from these schools,” Jones Sr. continued.  “You’re talking about some prestigious universities.” 

Although he is only in his second year of high school, basketball Jones Jr. already knows what he is looking for in a school.  And his goal is to improve and use college as stepping stone to get to the NBA.

“Probably who I’ll be playing with,” Jones Jr. said when asked of a big factor in his recruitment.  “Every kid’s goal is to make it to the next level, so I want to see what the universities can give me and help me to move on.”

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