2003 Update: Leon Powe

Leon Powe, the 6-7 power forward from Oakland, is a beast under the basket, and his recruitment is already starting to get crazy. The easy-going kid, though, is taking it in stride and he talks about his early leaders...

Leon Powe, 6-7, Oakland (Calif.) Tech, is one of the hottest names in basketball recruiting right now, with many college coaches indicating that he's their #1 target.

Powe, though, is a pretty easy-going kid who's taking it all in stride.

"It's still early," Powe said with a smile. "Everybody asks me about recruiting. I don't know because I've talked to so many coaches on the phone and they're all telling me things. All these coaches tell you things. What players will be there, which ones are leaving. It's hard and confusing. And I haven't really sat down to think about it all yet. I haven't taken any visits so I really don't know too much about all the schools."

Off the cuff, Powe did have a few schools come to mind, though. "Cal, Kansas, and Maryland. There's Kentucky. They seem pretty cool. And I ain't going to lie, I like Duke."

Cal is making a big push for Powe, along with his AAU teammate, point guard Ayinde Ubaka. They also already have a verbal from another AAU teammate, from Marquis Kately, who will go to a prep school for a year before enrolling at Berkeley. Is this influencing his decision at all? "If my choice is Cal, I hope people will follow me. I don't want to be the Lone Ranger there by myself."

Powe said that staying close to home could be a factor. "If I need to be close to my family, I could stay close. For my family, and my little brothers. Other than that, I could leave. I could go wherever."

A big factor to Powe in his decsion will be the academic support. "I want to major in business management," he said. "And playing basketball, that's going to take up a lot of my time. So I want a good educational support system, good tutors that will help me on road games and things."

Being ranked one of the top 10 players in the country, jumping early to the NBA is always a consideration, and Powe admits he's thought about it. "When I was little I didn't like school. But then I got into it and liked it. I really want to get an education. If I get to go to the NBA early, that'd be great. Maybe after two years in college. But I'd definitely want to complete my education in summer school."

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