Cheatham talks Louisville interest

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Zylan Cheatham, a four-star forward, is among a handful of '14 targets Louisville is further evaluating this month. Cardinal Authority caught up with the Top 100 prospect at the Peach Jam.

Zylan Cheatham had followed Louisville's national championship run, but that didn't make someone's reminder about it seem any less impressive.

"I followed them all the way into the national championship," Cheatham said at this year's EYBL Finals at the Nike Peach Jam. "Peyton Siva is a great player, and coach Pitino is a Hall of Fame coach, so being that they won a national championship and then weeks later, I'm talking to [Pitino] on the phone, it's kind of like, ‘Wow.'"

Cheatham, a four-star prospect for the class of 2014 on, is suiting up for California Supreme at the Peach Jam from North Augusta's Riverview Park Activities Center. He counts more than two dozen offers, and while Louisville isn't one of the schools, he said he is hoping for an offer. The 20-to-30 minute phone conversation with coach Rick Pitino back in June could be just the start.

"If they offer and make my five, then definitely, I'll take that official," Cheatham said.

Cheatham attended Westwind Preparatory Academy in Phoenix this past school year, but he said he's probably going to go to a different school for his senior year. He hasn't decided to where yet, but he added he's looking at the academic situation.

He also sees basketball as his way out. Growing up in a tough way financially, Cheatham gets passion from playing for his family and his future – to help out himself and his loved ones.

So Cheatham sees the Peach Jam as a way to gain even more attention from colleges. The only downside coming eastward for the event is that the trip hasn't been exactly easy for his body due to the time difference.

"It's definitely been tough," Cheatham said. "[Wednesday] night, I really couldn't sleep. Being that I'm going to be playing probably one of the biggest games of my life the following morning, and, on top of that, the time change, it was … I was up at 3 in the morning, and that's 12 back home. It's kind of tough."

Listed at 6-foot-7 in the Peach Jam program, Cheatham said he went threw a growth spurt going into his freshman year. He said he went from a size 9 in the eighth grade all the way up to size 15.

As he prepares for one more year of high school, Cheatham isn't decided on a list of favorites right now. Instead, he just knows what he looks for from colleges.

"I want to see a program that plays up-tempo, gets above the rim, pushes the ball up the floor, and lets me display my versatility," Cheatham said. "And of course wins. That and a consistent fan base I like to look at."

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