Withey, a 7-foot junior who has already verbally committed to Louisville, played for EBO on the AAU circuit earlier this spring. The San Diego, California native played with Darren Matsubara's AAU program earlier this spring, standing out in Houston at the last month's Kingwood Classic.
In Houston, with Louisville assistant Marvin Menzies looking on, Withey won an individual matchup against another Top 100 2008 big man, Ohio's Kenny Frease. It was during that matchup, however, that Withey sustained the injury that has slowed him the past few weeks.
"(Jeff) blocked an awesome shot but slammed his hand on the backboard and cracked his middle finger," Debbie Withey told InsideTheVille.com. "It swelled up pretty big, but he got it taped and played through the pain against Delvon Roe and Kenny Frease's team."
The injury occurred to Withey's shooting hand. When he returned from Houston, doctors examined the hand and diagnosed a break – though not all the way through the bone – and put a cast on Withey's right hand.
While recuperating, Withey sat down with his family and came to an important conclusion about his AAU playing days, at least for the immediate future.
"(We) reached one conclusion," said Withey's mother. "Jeff has decided that AAU ball is unorganized and basically a waste of time after the goal of being seen is met. Instead, he has vowed to work out everyday except Sundays."
Instead of traveling the country with EBO from one AAU tournament to the next, Withey is now working out each day with Trent Suzuki, a highly-regarded personal trainer who has also worked with Arizona star forward Chase Budinger, as well as a shooting coach.
"(Jeff) will only attend the high profile camps: Adidas Nations, Pangos, and the NBAP Top 100," Withey said. "And he has agreed to play in the Super 64 for EBO in Vegas. He feels he can get better by going to the gym and working hard with people who know what he needs to develop."
Withey's goals include increasing his strength and continuing to develop his shooting stroke.
"His goal is to gain weight, muscle, and shooting skills," Debbie Withey said. "Coach Pitino has asked him to gain 10 pounds before he arrives. His trainer and myself think he can gain 20 if he works really hard, which he is doing. He is also putting up his 200 shots a day."
Withey had his cast removed earlier this week. Though his hand is still not 100 percent, he is ‘buddy' taping it so that he can lift weights and work on his shooting.
"He is determined to be ready for Pangos the first weekend of June," Withey said. "He knows how good he is and how much work he needs to put in. He has a goal, and I am sure he will reach it. He is only concerned (about) coming into Louisville and helping out the team. He wants to do what ever it takes to do that."
As for his commitment to Louisville, Withey appears eager to play for Rick Pitino's Cardinals in 2008-09.
"He really is looking forward to being coached by Coach Pitino and he values his guidance," Withey said. "Jeff's top priority is to be ready to contribute once he gets to Louisville."