GLADSTONE, N.J. -- It was a typical fall day inside the gymnasium at Gill (N.J.) St. Bernard’s high school.
On one end, members of the girls varsity basketball team putting shots up, refining their game as the season approaches.
On the other end, a small group of boys varsity basketball players using shooting machines to work their way around the perimeter working on three-pointers and those old, traditional mid-range jumpers.
Standing out amongst the boys is five-star 2016 shooting guard Tyus Battle.
All of 6-foot-6 and long, everything appears normal, like just another day of work for Battle.
Only problem is, right now Battle is limited to shooting with just one hand, not that that’s going to stop him from improving.
“Nothing serious,” Battle said. “Out 10 days, just felt on it but I’m good. Should be good.”
A season ago, Battle went through a relative gauntlet of double and triple teams throughout the high school year as the star sophomore attempting to lead his team.
Looking back, Battle appreciates the good and the bad, knowing he came out a better player because of it.
“It taught me a lot,” Battle said. “Just slow my game down, just do other things except score the ball. I found my teammates, you know, if my shots not falling, try to contribute other ways on the floor so, and it helped me mentally a lot.
“It was a tough, some parts of the season were tough so just get through it and just get better.”
Better is exactly what Battle was throughout the spring and summer. Of course out on the AAU circuit, this summer also provided Battle the opportunity of competing with Team USA in the U17 FIBA Championships, winning a gold medal.
“It was amazing, an amazing summer,” Battle said. “Playing for your country is just an amazing experience, amazing feeling. It was my first time out of the country too so Dubai was amazing. We went to Dubai and Qatar so both of those places were amazing.
“Elite 24, I just had so much fun at Elite 24. I met some really good guys and it was an amazing experience.”
Now home and rested after taking a few weeks off, Battle is in the process of prepping for a big junior season at St. Bernard’s.
Although his high school is in Gladstone, Battle and his family actually reside in a town roughly an hour away, making for early mornings and late nights traveling to and from.
Battle’s day starts at 5:30 every morning, hopping on the bus to get to school on time. After school, the bus gives him well over two and a half hours of time to head to the gym or the weight room before arriving back home around 7 p.m.
Upon arriving home, studying takes center stage along with that thing called recruiting that has only increased since June 15, now that college basketball coaches are allowed to call and text him directly.
“It’s been tough but I’m loving every (minute),” Battle said. “You got to enjoy it, going through this whole process and I’m blessed to have my dad with me.
“He’s been helping me a lot with the whole process, my dad and my family, helping me a lot with the coaches and the calls and stuff like that. But I’m loving it, it’s a lot of fun.”
Moving forward, trips to Syracuse next week, Kentucky for midnight madness, as well as Duke are all on the docket, as well as Michigan. Battle heads into those visits with a clear understanding of what he’ll be focused on.
“Community of course, the college community,” Battle said. “The academic piece a lot, development. The situation and how they’re going to play me and that’s really it.”
Michigan is one of Battle’s options to keep an eye on. Visiting Ann Arbor back in June for the Wolverines one-day college practice camp, Battle and his father Gary have remained in constant contact with John Beilein and his staff.
“I like Michigan a lot,” Battle said. “How they develop their players (like) Trey Burke, Nik Stauskas and (Caris) LeVert, so, they really develop their guys and I think they let their guards really play, come off ball screens, handle the ball.
“So, I like them a lot. Also the academic part, really high academic school so I really like them.”
With this recruitment quickly progressing, a plan is in place for Battle to trim his list in the coming months with a decision still far off.
“I’ll probably narrow it before the season starts, a little before the season starts,” Battle said. “Just probably cut it down to like 10 or 12. I’ve just been thinking about it, a lot of thought with my dad so it should be good.”
On a decision timeline, Battle adding, “I’m not really sure about the decision part. Probably when I’m most comfortable. When I’m most comfortable I’ll probably make a decision.”
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