Rabb's Game, Recruitment Developing

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – The evolution of Ivan Rabb is set to move to its next stage.

During his first two years at Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O’Dowd, Rabb played primarily inside. To complete his tasks of scoring on the low-block on offense and protecting the paint on defense, the 6-foot-10, 209-pound forward was always in the paint.

In his senior season, he’ll rarely be there.

“He will probably play as little as possible in the post unless it’s the state championship game,” said Lou Richie, Bishop O’Dowd head coach and an assistant on the Oakland Soldiers 17U team. “He’s a basketball player. He doesn’t want to be typecast as a post or a perimeter player. We want the ball in his hands so he can make plays. He committed to us to be in the post, so (now) we’ve committed to him to have the freedom to step out and improve.”

To develop the skills necessary to thrive on the wing, Rabb has taken on an ambitious workout regimen, in addition to his EYBL and USA Basketball responsibilities. He shoots regularly at Bishop O’Dowd, extending his range out beyond the three-point line. Sometimes he’ll stay for two, three or even four hours.

It’s all so that he can become a more complete player.

“He wants to continue to work on his point guard skills,” said Richie. “He wants to work on his passing. He wants to work on his shooting. He wants to be the most skilled player there is, period.”

Added Rabb: “I think normally when the ball is in my hand I try to make something happened no matter what. If it’s not an assist, then it’s a hockey assist. I pass it and then hopefully somebody can get it to someone else to make a play.”

Rabb, ranked the No. 3 overall player in the class of 2015 by Scout.com, shot 61.3 percent (92/150) from the field in 16 games leading up to the EYBL Finals in Augusta -- and he connected at a similar clip on that final week. His length, athleticism and ability to finish with both hands around the rim make him one of high school basketball’s most efficient players.

Those attributes also make him one of the most wanted.

John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski, Sean Miller and Roy Williams were just a few of the big-name coaches who watched Rabb many times in North Augusta.

Rabb said Arizona, California, UCLA, North Carolina, Duke, Georgetown, USC and Kentucky are recruiting him the hardest.

It’s been long rumored that he would follow former Soldiers’ players Aaron Gordon, Brandon Ashley and Nick Johnson to Arizona, with proximity being a primary reason.

While Arizona may ultimately be his college choice, Rabb said he’s not afraid to play far from home.

"I'm used to being away from home," he explained. "It's good being away from home because you meet a lot of new people and a different way of life on the East Coast.”

Following the EYBL, Rabb will try out for the 2014 USA Basketball 17U team in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He’ll be up against the nation’s top players, but should he make the team, he’ll represent the United States at the FIBA 17U Championships in Dubai next month.

Before that happens, Rabb’s family will attempt to lock in official visit dates for the fall.

“He hasn’t determined any dates or where he’s going to visit,” said Richie. “He might have had conversations with individual schools, but in terms of locking down dates that’s something we plan to do in the next two weeks. Hopefully we can do that before he goes to Colorado Springs, but if he is fortunate enough to make the USA team then we’ll try and do it after he comes back from Dubai.”

Along with Richie, Rabb’s parents, Bishop O’Dowd’s president Dr. Stephen Phelps and Al Payton, the father of former NBA star Gary Payton, will help Rabb make his decision.

“We’re going to do metrics and weigh everything so he can actually look at it,” Richie said. “We want him to do his due diligence and we want him to be better informed than anyone who’s ever made a college decision.”

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