That’s the case for DeJon Jarreau and Brison Gresham, basketball family twice over at McDonogh 35 in New Orleans and this summer starring for Elfrid Payton Elite on the Nike EYBL circuit.
At a recent sit-down interview, when I asked if they consider themselves a package deal to interested college programs, there was almost a race to see who could say “Yes” fastest.
“I just play better around DeJon, so I think it would be great if we played together in college because he makes me look better and I think I make him look better,” explained Gresham, a mobile big man with motor for days. “We play off each other really.”
As for Jarreau, a rangy point guard and national recruit since last summer: “Yeah, I let them know that I’m not coming there if y’all don’t have a good spot (for Gresham). Just trying to get me down there to play without him (won’t work). There’s got to be a good spot for both of us to play.”
When exactly did the Crescent City pair come to this conclusion?
“Last year, at the end of the summer when we really started first getting offers,” Gresham recalled, “we sat down and decided we were going to play with each other in college.”
From that moment until present day, a span of one year, the two have moved forward renewed and improved with a common goal in mind. The results have spoken for themselves.
The season before? The Roneagles failed to even make the playoffs.
This summer Gresham and Jarreau, nicknamed “Deeky” (“My mom gave it to me when I was little. Her name is Reeky, so she gave me Deeky.”), helped lead fledgling Elfrid Payton Elite to the prestigious Peach Jam tournament, something an all-Louisiana team hadn’t accomplished in several years.
Among the colleges that have jumped in to offer the fast-rising, inside-out tandem in recent months are Boston College, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Memphis, Miami (FL), Oklahoma, Texas and USC.
“It’s been pretty good, just getting better and better,” Gresham said of his big summer. “But it has been crazy. At first I just had a couple of offers, mostly mid-majors and stuff like that. Now it’s gotten bigger, like a lot.”
With Gresham now viewed as a valuable post target, combined with Jarreau’s obvious athletic appeal and playmaking abilities, schools are listening when the players talk package deal.
“Most of them have been telling us that if you come here, he’s going to play too. And if he comes here, you’re going to play too,” Jarreau said matter-of-factly. “So it’s been going good with that.”
The ballers from the Big Easy are scheduled to trim their lists to six, or maybe seven, schools in the coming days. Two of that group are already known, as the players confirmed to Scout they’ll take official visits together to Miami (FL) from Sept. 18-20 and Oklahoma the weekend of Oct. 2-4.
LSU, which offered in mid-July (“They’ve been coming real hard,” Jarreau indicated), and Massachusetts, which got in early on both players, figure to be in the mix as well.
As for when they plan to sign, nothing is etched in stone at this point. After lists are culled and the final three visits planned, Gresham and Jarreau want to focus on their senior seasons and continue to grow their games.
But notice has been served to, and heeded by, college recruiters: You can’t have one without the other.