Rathan-Mayes Updates Recruitment

HAMPTON, VA -- One thing is clear after two sessions of the 2012 Nike Elite Youth Basketball League... CIA Bounce is emerging as the team to beat with players like Xavier Rathan-Mayes leading the way.

One thing is clear after two sessions of the 2012 Nike Elite Youth Basketball League... CIA Bounce is emerging as the team to beat in this year's league.

The EYBL, which features Nike's top 40 AAU programs, is loaded with quality talent, and CIA Bounce, the only team with an undefeated 9-0 record, has a chance to win this year's title.

The Canada-based program has won the nine games by nearly 15 points per game, and went 5-0 in Hampton with just one game being decided by less than double digits.

"We have a great team with great players and everybody is very unselfish," said star guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes. "We all have bought in to the team concept, and it has led to a lot of wins for us. I think we're the best team in the league."

CIA Bounce also features elite 2013 point guard Tyler Ennis, and arguably the top prospect in high school basketball, Andrew Wiggins. An explosive 6'8 wing, Wiggins is regarded as the No. 1 recruit in the 2014 class and was easily the top player in Hampton.

"Andrew is a great player... probably the best player I've ever played with," said Rathan-Mayes. "He's unstoppable and can get wherever he wants on the floor."

Rathan-Mayes is talented as well. A 6-foot-4 shooting guard, he is known for his perimeter shooting but also his ability to score off the dribble and create for his teammates. He is currently ranked the No. 12 shooting guard in the 2013 class and a four-star recruit, and his ranking could rise given his recent play.

"I'm shooting the ball well and getting to the basket, but I'm also trying to keep everyone involved," he said. "I feel like I've been playing very well, but I just want to keep it up.

"I strive to be one of the top players in my class. I feel like I am, and that's what I've been working hard for."

He already held offers from programs such as UCONN, Illinois, NC State, Marquette and Oregon when he picked up scholarships from South Florida, UCLA, Alabama, Seton Hall, and LSU over the last couple of weeks.

One program that is tracking his progress is Kentucky, a school he visited last fall.

"They called me and coach Orlando [Antigua] said they are going to watch all my games and see me play," said Rathan-Mayes. "I went there with Andrew for a visit and we had a great time. They have great facilities, and it was cool to hang out with the players."

NC State is another program that is heavily pursuing Rathan-Mayes. He previously attended Creedmoor (NC) Christian Faith Academy before transferring to Huntington Prep (WV), and when he was at Christian Faith he had a chance to check out NC State.

"I know a lot about NC State from when I was down in school in North Carolina," he stated. "I went over there a few times and worked out on their campus.

"Coach Gottfried is a great coach on and off the floor. He is recruiting me, along with coach Orlando [Early]. Me and coach Orlando, we talk frequently and have a great relationship. He also does with my mom, which is very important. He is a great guy."

Rathan-Mayes said he followed NC State's recent postseason success.

"Well, they've definitely made me a priority," he stated. "We talk constantly, and they've offered.

"I thought they had a great run in the postseason this year. They played really well, and they have a great deal of upside with the recruiting class they have coming in."

In no rush to make a decision, Rathan-Mayes says he is wide open. He hopes to start to really focus on recruiting at the end of the AAU circuit.

"I don't have a timeframe for when I'm going to commit," he said. "I'll probably narrow my list down after AAU, but I don't know for sure.

"When the time comes to make a decision I want to be able to go in and make an impact right away. I want to go to place that will push me to be a better player. I'm also looking for a school with a great fanbase and great facilities."

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