Tigers Enter The Race For Wainwright

The top 2013 basketball prospect in the state picks up a Mizzou offer to go along with his growing list

While the NCAA may be trying to curb recruits getting verbal offers earlier and earlier, colleges are going fill steam ahead giving them out to the top players regardless of their year in school.

Raytown South forward Ishmael Wainwright 6'6" 215lbs class of 2013 is among those underclassmen garnering the attention of schools early, and the Missouri Tigers recently entered the chase for his services when he graduates high school two and a half years from now.

ShowMeMizzou.com spoke recently to Wainwright to confirm his Missouri offer and get the big picture on his overall recruitment.

"Yes,sir. Missouri just offered me along with Oklahoma State,Clemson and Nebraska. I am happy to get an offer from Mizzou",said Wainwright.

The Tigers are among an ever growing list for the Kansas City area sophomore hoopster. Wainwright also rattled off a list of schools who have offered him even earlier then the Tigers.

"I also have offers from Texas, UCLA,St. John's, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Baylor and I think maybe Kansas."

The soft spoken Wainwright seems surprised by all the early attention he is receiving so far.

"It's amazing! I didn't expect this so quick. Not many players my grade get this many offers from such big time schools so early. My family is surprised. My Dad is loving it" said Wainwright.

Wainwright's father played basketball at Lincoln University and he said his mother also played basketball when she was younger.

"My Mom is very excited,too. She works at a barber shop, and she says everybody talks to her about me and all the attention I am getting all the time. It's kind of strange, but in a good way."

I asked Ishmael about his thoughts on the Missouri offer, program and if he could see himself playing in Columbia.

"Oh,yeah. I really like the way they play, the up tempo game and the defense is what fits me. My Dad loves coach Anderson and coach Watkins. He is excited that we will be going up there for some games this year. I have been up there already and we have family who live in Columbia. My older brother Hassan goes to Mizzou and is studying journalism there. My little brother (Ahmad) is just a freshman this year and is already trying to commit to them (Mizzou). I will try my best to get up there a few times."

Ishmael's little bother is a 6'1"195lb two-guard that has some good athletic ability and skill according to him and is a player to keep and eye on for the future.

With so many offers arriving so early, I asked him if he had an early list of school that were sticking out to him already.

"I would say West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Missouri and Baylor so far. West Virginia and Tech were the first ones on me and I like the way they play. Same thing with Mizzou and Baylor. I like their styles."

Wainwright described his style of play for me.

"I like to play the up-tempo game. I look for mismatches and like to isolate my defender, drive and attack the rim and finish. I have a pretty good midrange shot, but I am still working on my outside shot. I also like playing defense and rebounding. Battling for the ball."

He told me that most schools see him playing the 3 in college, although one school sees him being a 3/4 combo forward.

He doesn't care as long as he get to play.

Something that did come up during out conversation was his football ability that he displayed as a freshman last year. Wainwright has the potential to be a D1 TE prospect if he chooses to pursue that sport.

Ishmael said that while he is not playing this year, he missed the sport and planned on playing next year. He also mentioned the possibility of playing both sports on the next level.

"I really miss playing football. It's tough being out there on Friday nights and not being on the field. I will play next season. I have thought about being able to play both sports in college, but I don't know if that is possible or if any body has done that before on a high level. I don't know if coaches would be ok with that since the seasons overlap some."

That situation along with recruiting will work itself out over time. Right now Wainwright is just focusing on school and the coming basketball season.

"We have a good team and I just want to try my best and hopefully win a championship this year. The rest will come in time."

ShowMeMizzou.com will continue to follow Ishmael Wainwright's high school career and recruitment.

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