2008 Intro: Travis Releford

Before he had even played a single high school game, much was expected of Kansas City (Mo.) Central sophomore Travis Releford. Having already developed a healthy reputation locally as a middle schooler, the 6-4 guard justified the hype thanks to an outstanding freshman season where he averaged nearly 25 points a game and dropped a 43 spot in just his second varsity game.

During the summer, Releford took his act national by earning a spot in the All-Star game at Adidas' underclassmen camp and helping to lead his KC Pump ‘N Run 16U team to a handful of tournament championships. Not surprisingly, schools from across the country including Illinois, Iowa, Ohio State, Tennessee, Georgia and others have already expressed interest. However, Duke, Kansas and North Carolina have emerged from the pack as his early favorites.

"I like Duke because when I was little it was a team that I always liked because they were winning championships," Releford said. "I like North Carolina because a whole lot of NBA players have come from there. I like Kansas because they are a good program that's close to home and my momma likes them."

Still only 15 years old, Releford admits that he isn't too worried about doing much investigation into schools. At the same time, he'd like to make an early decision so he knows that it is something he's going to have to look into more seriously in the near future.

"I haven't really been looking into that stuff yet, I don't know - it's a little too early," said Releford. "After this year is over I'll look at it a lot more. I'll probably try to decide during my junior year after the summer basketball."

While it is easy to point to his ability to score inside and out and plentiful athleticism, Releford is actually a skilled player. In fact, it is the other things he brings to the table that has sold his summer coach L.J. Goolsby and others on his potential.

"I think Travis is an all around player and he can do a lot of different things on the court that will allow him to be successful on the next level," said Goolsby. "Eventually he'll excel defensively and I think that's what he can be best at because he anticipates and gets into passing lanes so well.

"He's really patient as a player and that helps him. Compared to other kids his age his patience really shows and makes him stand out. He's never in a rush."

An excellent playmaker as well, Releford agrees that the little things he does are an important part of his game.

"My strengths are taking people off of the dribble and making open shots for other people on my team, and I think I do a good job rebounding," said Releford. "I need to work more on my three point shot and I'd like to improve my mid-range game some more."

Having already achieved a certain extent of notoriety on the national level, Releford can't help but notice it. Like other kids his age he eagerly reads rankings and stories but he tries to use them as motivation - he's already identified a member of his class he's looking forward to squaring off with.

"I notice it, but I don't let it get to me too much," said Releford of rankings and publicity. "I don't get a big ego or let it give me a big head. I would like to play against Tyreke Evans. On the Internet they say that he's No. 1 so I'd like to see what he's all about."

For now, Releford is focusing on his sophomore season and he can't wait for practice to start and his first game on November 22nd.

"Practice starts Monday and I can't wait, I'm just looking forward to getting better and working on my game," said Releford. "We open up with Lincoln Prep on the 22nd and I know they've been talking a lot about how they are going to shut me down. I've been getting in my little word here and there but I can't wait to take it to the court."

Travis Releford Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories