UNC Increasing Interest in Lindsey

HAMPTON, Va. – Bright lights, swarming media and hall-of-fame coaches are staples of any grassroots basketball event during an open evaluation period.

For most players in the class of 2014, this weekend's EYBL session in Hampton is only their second week playing with 17-and-under teams, and in front of college coaches.

That's not the case for Jalen Lindsey.

A 6-foot-7, 205-pound wing from Nashville (Tenn.) Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA), Lindsey is already a veteran of the AAU circuit. As a freshman, he played with the Tennessee Travelers 17U squad. That experience, he says, has translated into a smooth beginning to the 2012 travel season.

"Last year really helped me learn how to play with some of the elite players in the country," he said. "This year, I'm used to it and I feel like I'm starting to adjust to this level. My confidence is definitely up."

Lindsey describes himself as an "all-around" player and says he'll play the "3" - small forward - in college.

"I like to play hard and I like to play defense," he said. "I'm still working on my ball-handling and shooting, but I can shoot and put it on the floor when I want to."

That new-found confidence, in addition to a stellar high school season, has helped make Nashville a regular stop for some of the top schools in the country.

"Vanderbilt, Alabama, N.C. State, Memphis, Florida, Louisville and Tennessee have all offered me," he said.

He's also receiving interest from Kentucky, as well as North Carolina. UNC assistant coach Steve Robinson watched Lindsey workout during the fall evaluation period in October. Lindsey said he speaks regularly with the UNC staff.

"They're starting to recruit me really hard since (the travel circuit) started," he said.

That's particularly exciting for Lindsey, who admits he grew up as a Carolina fan.

"When I was younger, blue was my favorite color," he said. "I really liked UNC growing up because there were great players who went there. I love watching Vince Carter, Michael Jordan, Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson."

Lindsey said he's already set up an unofficial visit at Tennessee, and hopes to visit Kentucky, Florida and UNC soon.

Still, his childhood affinity for the Tar Heels won't be the only factor when he makes his collegiate decision.

"Academics are very important to me," he said. "In addition, how the coaches treat their players and how the players get along is going to be a factor. And, of course, I have to really like the school."

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