Michigan after 5-star ‘15 C Stephen Zimmerman

Bishop Gorman (NV) High School is home to sophomore 5-star center Stephen Zimmerman. GBW caught up with the mother of the talented big man to discuss their relationship with Michigan, when the Wolverines will be in town, and a connection with a current player.

At 6'11 and 205 pounds, 2015 Bishop Gorman (NV) High School center Stephen Zimmerman is a highly coveted five-star prospect. Given his incredible size at such a young age, most would think he spends a significant amount of time under the rim. Not so fast. "Big Zim" has plenty of skill to pair with his eye-popping height.

"I think the thing that surprises everybody the most, and we get so many comments on, is for being as tall as he is he's very athletic," Zimmerman's mother told GoBlueWolverine. "He can run the court, he doesn't trip over his feet and he's just very agile for being almost seven foot tall—which is really unusual."

"That being said, the kid can't walk up the stairs at home without tripping—but on the basketball court he handles it," added Zimmerman's mother, laughing.

Michigan took notice of Zimmerman's ability to move up and down the floor and began recruiting him to be a part of John Beilein's offense, which puts a premium on versatile, athletic centers.

"I think they saw him in Indiana last summer, and they started having interest and showing interest and calling our high school coach," Mrs. Zimmer man said.

Michigan assistant coach lavall jordan has taken lead in the recruitment of Zimmerman, connecting with the young man in a unique style.

"I think it's really good," said Zimmerman's mom of their relationship with Coach Jordan. "Stephen likes talking to him and they've kind of started to build a relationship; and he's just so easy and nice to talk to. He listens. He doesn't just ask the same questions that every coach asks, and they seem to have really good conversations."

Part of the conversation has consisted of when the Wolverines plan to be in attendance to watch Zimmerman at an open gym, and Michigan won't be waiting much longer with plans to be in "sin city" later this week or next week. With Zimmerman recovering from an injury and the rigors of a busy fall schedule, a visit to Ann Arbor is delayed as of now but not off the table moving forward.

"We definitely talked about it and it is a trip we'd like to make," Zimmerman's mother said. "Right now with him being—he had an injury and was out all summer, so right now he's just so focused on spending as much time in the gym as possible before the season starts. So we haven't really even thought about taking any trips right now."

While trips to college campuses appears to be on the back burner for the Zimmerman's at this point, the family will head out to Colorado Springs at the beginning of October in order for Stephen to compete with 45 other players in the 2012 Men's Developmental National Team mini-camp for USA Basketball.

"Its just kind of every kid's and every parent's dream, Team USA," Mrs. Zimmerman said. "You never think that something like that is going to come for you. It's such an honor. We're going to go up to Colorado Springs in two weeks, and it's a three day camp—so he'll just play ball, see how it goes and if we're blessed enough to be chosen that would be awesome."

With several college basketball programs hoping to be blessed with the eventual commitment of Zimmerman, four schools appear to be on the trail the hardest at this point.

"Michigan, we talk to a lot. We talk to Lavall a lot. Arizona, UCLA and UNLV."

With Michigan competing closely alongside West Coast schools, Zimmerman's mother would have no problem with her son heading east if that's what he feels is best for his future.

"I really don't have any preference," she said. "I just want him to find the right program and fit in where he's comfortable. That's what its all about, where he's going to be comfortable—‘cause I don't have to go and I don't have to play."

Although nearly 2,000 miles separate Ann Arbor from Las Vegas, the Zimmermans are very familiar with the Michigan program and look forward to watching the team—and one of their friends—on the court this winter.

"We saw a couple games last year and they did really great," Mrs. Zimmerman said. "I picked them in my bracket. Stephen got to know Mitch McGary a little bit—not last summer but the summer before when he first started playing on 16 and under. He really likes Mitch and he can't wait to watch him this year. So I think we'll probably see a lot more of them this year, since there's somebody that we know and we can kind of connect to by watching."

Michigan can only hope that their connection continues to grow with the talented sophomore big man.

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