LAS VEGAS -- Sometimes all it takes is one game.
Bruno Fernando was a late arrival to the Peach Jam earlier this month, but it didn't take long for him to make a strong first impression.
In the Saturday night quarterfinal matchup against CP3, the 6-10, 225-pound Fernando came off the bench for E1T1 to post six points, eight rebounds and seven blocks in 17 minutes.
"He played physical, tough and stayed active in the paint," the Scout.com team observed. "He flashed good hands, made a mid-range jump shot and rebounded both in and out of his area. With his pure size and tools on both ends of the floor, college coaches were buzzing..."
Roy Williams was in the gym for that breakout performance. Fast forward two weeks later to the Las Vegas Classic and Williams was courtside again for Fernando, who was playing this time with the Florida Eagles program.
"We're getting interest from everyone," said Eagles coach Fenny Falmagne, who also coaches at Montverde (Fla.) Academy, where Fernando goes to high school. "Kansas, UNC, SMU, Texas, Syracuse, big-time programs."
Schools have been coming on strong since that Peach Jam performance and the Tar Heel coaches been in touch with the staff at Montverde.
"They've shown interest. They contacted [Montverde] and [Bruno] likes the school," Falmagne said of North Carolina.
Falmagne said that there is a preliminary plan in place to reclassify Fernando from the class of 2016 back to the class of 2017. Campus visits could still be in the works, however, and Falmagne cited the Tar Heels as a school that could get a visit.
"We don't know yet. Right now we have plans on going places, SMU and UNC probably, but nothing has been confirmed yet," Falmagne said.
Falmagne and the Montverde staff are helping Fernando navigate the recruiting process since his arrival from Angola. Already owning some good international basketball experience, Fernando was a bright spot for the Angolan national team during the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships in Dubai.
Against the United States, Fernando had 12 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks and averaged 9.1 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in seven games with the team.
As for what will help factor into a decision on a future college program, Falmagne said that a coaching staff that helps Fernando both on and off the court will likely be the future destination.
"It's just going to come down to a coach that's going to help him grow as a person. Not necessarily as a basketball player, but more as a person," Falmagne said. "Because he's a good kid, he's really emotional. He really needs somebody that cares more about who he is as a person than he is as a basketball player."
Fernando Catches UNC's Attention
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