A three-star point guard, Mays has helped guide the Cubs to the last two 3A state championships, averaging 8.1 assists a game in 2014-15 as a junior.
As Mays detailed to TSD, the decision was not only easily reached.
“I want to start off saying how much I’ve learned at U-High and playing with the guys I’ve played with – Wayde Sims, Jalen Johnson, D.J. White, John Jones, my brother (Spencer), all those guys. I can’t name them all,” Mays said. “The crazy thing about it is I’ve learned a lot from playing with them and I’ve learned a lot even from playing with guys in lower classifications or grades below me. Obviously Coach (Joe) Spencer has taken me a long way. I’ve been playing for him since eighth grade. I came in and didn’t agree with him on some stuff on the basketball court in eighth grade, but by 11th grade I learned that it’s the right thing (he’s preaching).
“He’s prepared me so much for the next level from a basketball standpoint, but (in regard to moving to Findlay Prep) it’s kinda about the full picture. I’m going to be away from home. I’ll have to learn to be responsible for myself and to take care of myself. It’s all those things that will make it like being a freshman in college, just a year early. That’s what I’m looking at with Findlay Prep, and I think I’m up to that challenge.”
Mays doesn’t feel at all as if he’s outgrown the competition locally. When asked about the opportunity from a basketball sense, he reiterated the transfer is more about preparing himself off the floor.
“Obviously it’ll be a bigger stage, but it’s mainly to prepare me for college a year early,” explained Mays, one of eight children. “Being away from home I think I’ll mature much more and be ready for that college level once I get there.”
The cerebral pass-first point guard went on to say that he, his mother and his father have been discussing this move for “three weeks or so” and that their schedules aligned to check out the Findlay Prep campus last weekend while also taking in UNLV on an unofficial visit.
Upon returning from the weekend trip, Mays pulled the trigger on his transfer to Findlay Prep, where current LSU Tiger and former St. Augustine standout Craig Victor also spent his senior year.
He isn’t anywhere near as close to pledging to UNLV, or any college for that matter, although Mays and his parents did have a good time on the Runnin’ Rebels campus.
“There are a lot of renovations. When we went to the court at the Thomas & Mack Center, they were doing graduation. So we really didn’t get to see the court like normal. But it’s a huge arena,” recalled Mays, who played a summer in the same AAU program as current UNLV player Jordan Cornish. “They showed us around the campus. It’s a really modern campus. I mean it was nice. Everything was good and we enjoyed ourselves.”
Mays has been hearing from plenty of additional colleges lately, including Stanford, California, Wisconsin and Wichita State. He’s content to take in all in for the time being, building relationships and learning more about each program, in no hurry to make a decision.
“I went to LSU Team Camp before I left for Vegas, so I got to talk with Coach (Johnny) Jones for a while and met (new assistant) coach (Al) Pinkins,” he continued. “Obviously I just finished my unofficial to UNLV. I might be taking an unofficial to Baylor in the upcoming days, but nothing’s determined there yet. I’ve also talked with Memphis recently.
“Nothing is determined at this point. I’m trying not to really think about college much yet. I’ve heard a lot of rumors about me with UNLV, but I just want anyone who cares to know that I’m totally undecided and just letting things flow at this point.”
---------------------------Check out Scout’s footage below of Mays at The Warmup event in Bentonville, Ark., earlier this summer.