Being a highly sought after basketball recruit certainly has advantages. You have schools from across the country chasing you to play for them, there are no shortage of headlines and you are eligible for high profile events that many other players never get the chance to play in. Then again, if you are into spending time with your friends and living the life of a normal teenager then things can get tough.
Such is the life of Travis Releford. The 6-5 guard at Bishop Miege is in the middle of what’s shaping up to be a very hectic month or so. With trips to Portland, Colorado Springs, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Tulsa and Las Vegas all on his travel agenda the senior to be will have little time to rest in the upcoming weeks.
On Friday night, Releford was in Lawrence.
“It was fun, I got to hang out with the players and talk to them like usual,” said Releford of his time at KU’s Elite Camp. “The coaches were cool, all of them. It was just a lot of fun.”
Saturday morning, the 17 year old got up early to take the ACT and after that he was off to Manhattan to spend some time with the Wildcats and get his first look at Kansas State’s campus.
“This is their first year doing it (Elite Camp) so you could kind of tell, but it was cool,” said Releford. “That was my first time seeing the campus and meeting with the coaches and stuff.”
According to the Kansas City Star, Releford is scheduled to stop by Missouri on Wednesday, but Tuesday night he said that he wasn’t sure a visit would happen. The reason being that he’s going to be headed to Portland first thing in the morning on Thursday where he’ll be taking part in the Adidas Nations program and the Rose City Classic until Monday.
“I like being busy with all of this stuff,” Releford told Phog.Net. “This is something that I’m looking forward to doing for the rest of my life so it’s good.”
Shortly after Releford returns from Portland, he’ll be on his way to Colorado Springs for USA Basketball’s Developmental Festival. He doesn’t know exactly what he should expect, but he’s thrilled about the chance to represent his country.
“It’s a big honor, but I don’t really know much about it,” said Releford. “I just know that it’s a big deal and they are only going to have two or three teams. We’ll play against teams from overseas and each other.”
Like any other player, he wants to prove that he belongs. But, more than anything he wants to make the most of the experience and he’s not upset about missing out on time at home and says that all of the activity is great for killing time.
“I like that, I enjoy being a part of it, I’d say I belong. I just want to play hard, that’s my mantra. Come to play ball and have fun,” said Releford. “Not having anything to do at home makes me want to get in the gym all the time. There’s really not much to do but get in the gym and work hard.”
After he finishes up with USA Basketball, Releford will fly directly to Los Angeles. There, he’ll take part in Nike’s exclusive Kobe Bryant shooting guard academy and he’s excited about the opportunity to get in some serious skill work.
“I really don’t know how it’s going to be. I think it’s going to be doing a whole lot of skill work. I think we are going to meet him and I’m excited about that,” said Releford of Kobe camp. “Usually you go into camps and play a bunch of games and you don’t get to work on skills. That’s what I think this camp is going to be all about, breaking down skills and working on moves.”
Given that Bryant is the Kansas City native’s favorite player, he’s hoping to get a chance to speak with him. While some players might ask Kobe for tips on how to improve their game, Releford was stumped when asked what he’d question Bryant about if given the chance.
“I don’t even know, wow,” said Releford. “I’d ask him if he could, would he change his mind and go to college instead of straight to the NBA? I’d ask him if he thought he missed out.”
After all of that Releford will get a week or so off before he plays in four tournaments during the month of July with his summer team KC Pump ‘N Run. Then, after a little bit of rest it sounds like he’ll have his final college choice.
“A couple of weeks after July,” said Releford while declining to name his current school list or favorites. “That’s when I’m going to make my final list and probably make my decision.”