INDIANAPOLIS—Recently vaulting to the top of the FOXSportsNEXT National Basketball Rankings as the top overall prospect in the class of 2015, Bishop Gorman (Nev.) high school and Dream Vision 17u center Stephen Zimmerman loves getting his time in on the hardwood. Known for his tireless work ethic and dedication to the game, Zimmerman also values his time off the court, taking advantage of any opportunity to be a kid when his travel and practice schedule allows.
“I had a week off and I was just hanging out with my friends,” Zimmerman told GoBlueWolverine. “It was really nice. I still had workouts and stuff but it wasn’t working out all day, so it was fun.”
Back on the hectic and time consuming grind called an AAU schedule, coinciding with the July evaluation period in which college coaches can scout some of the top prospects on their recruiting board, Zimmerman made his way to the Adidas Invitational last week, drawing coaches from all over the country to get their eyes on the 7-footer.
Starting the five-day event with productive performances on the offensive and defensive glass, blocking shots, and running the floor, Zimmerman put it all together Friday afternoon, posting 20-points as the focal point and, at times, facilitator of the Dream Vision offense their win during bracket play.
“It’s a great experience playing against all of these amazing teams and amazing players,” Zimmerman said. “The previous games, I guess I was kind of focused on scoring so it wasn’t helping me out at all. This game, I just relaxed and played and ended up scoring more than I did in any other game.
“Playing with Shabazz (Muhammad), he was a scorer and sometimes I hold myself to that standard but I have to remember that we’re different players. I try to get a double-double if not a triple-double every game.”
June 15 marked the date college coaches could officially begin contacting student-athletes that are juniors-to-be, and with offers from Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and USC, Zimmerman’s phone may not have every stopped ringing. Fortunately, his family has come up with a much better solution.
“They don’t have my number,” Zimmerman said smiling. “My mom talks to them all of the time and she evens it out so I call the right coach at the right time and stuff like that. I call everybody in the evening.
“Talking to all of these coaches is cool. Being known at the level I’m known at is amazing and it’s a real blessing.”
Michigan was keeping close tabs on Zimmerman in Indianapolis with assistants Jeff Meyer, LaVall jordan, and Director of Program Personnel, C.J. Lee, all spending time courtside scouting the five-star prospect. Able to watch soon to be Michigan sophomore center Mitch McGary in action during the NCAA tournament, Zimmerman says being able to witness the role he could play for the Wolverines with his own eyes is a big plus.
“It enhances it (my interest) a lot,” he said. “Cause we run the same play they run so to see how he ran it and how he did his thing, I can build off that, and learn from it.”
Still a long way from narrowing down his list of schools, let alone making a commitment to one of the many programs in hot pursuit, Zimmerman and his family will venture out for unofficial visits this August, although none are set in stone at this point.
“I think we’re planning on it,” Zimmerman said. “But I don’t know when and where. We definitely told the coaches we’re going to come out.
In case you missed them Monday, below are GoBlueWolverine highlights of Zimmerman in action at the 2013 Adidas Invitational.