Heels Contact Bennett

AKRON, Ohio --- After watching former AAU teammates Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph get picked in the NBA Draft, Anthony Bennett has a new goal.

Bennett wants the success out of his country to continue. Despite playing high school ball at Henderson (Nev.) Findlay, it's clear Bennett is proud of his Canadian routes.

"It just gets me motivated because anything is possible coming from Canada," Bennett said Thursday at the LeBron James Skill Academy. "[Tristan] went fourth in the draft and that's history in Canada so I just want to try and beat that."

Bennett is a much different player than his peers that were drafted. A 6-foot-7, 242-pound combo forward with a 7-1 wingspan, Bennett plays with energy, is an elite level athlete and has developed an impressive long-range jump shot.

"I go hard all the time," Bennett said. "I rebound. I can shoot. I like to get my teammates open. I probably need to work on my ball handling."

This past spring has been a good one for Bennett, whose play from April to June boosted his stock from No. 66 to No. 11 overall in the Scout.com 2012 class rankings. He's excited about the new ranking, but he's not content.

"The spring has been a lot of camps," he said. "It's been tiring, but I just have to go out there and play hard. I don't really look at the rankings, but I see that I'm No. 7 and No. 11 on a couple. I'm not satisfied, but I'm happy."

On the recruiting front, Bennett said he has plenty of college interest, but he doesn't appear to be paying much attention to it.

"A lot of them are coming to me, but I'm not breaking my list down or anything," Bennett claimed. "I'm going to save that for next spring. It's a big decision. I just want to think it through."

Bennett said Florida, UConn, Xavier, UNLV, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Kentucky, Duke, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Florida State are showing strong interest.

North Carolina is one of the latest schools to get involved. He heard from a Tar Heel assistant coach after his impressive showing at the NBPA Top 100 Camp last month.

"I talked to, -- well I forgot the coach's name -- but I talked to them two weeks back I think," Bennett said.

"They said they are going to come at me hard," he added. "They are really excited to recruit me, but I really need to know more about their program, because I'm not really big about basketball in college. So I'm going to just go into this year and watch all of their games."

Bennett, a five-star prospect, still has a handful of events left after the LeBron James Skills Academy. He'll head to North Augusta (S.C.) next week for Peach Jam with CIA Bounce.

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