Griffin Catching Fire

Blake Griffin is one of the hottest prospects in the nation. The young man from Oklahoma is on the fast track to a spot in the Top 20. How's he done it? Hard work.

Last weekend at the Kingwood Classic, you couldn't walk from one gym to the next without someone mentioning Blake Griffin. The Athletes First power forward was in the midst of a breakout performance.

Griffin, a 6-foot-8 monster out of Edmond (Okla.) Oklahoma Christian, is proving to be one of the true tough guys in the Class of 2007. How do we know? Well, the six stitches he played with over his right eye Sunday was proof enough.

The big fella' testified to how exhausted he was after Kingwood.

"It's incredible," Griffin said. "I guess we played two games (on Saturday) and I got busted in the eye. I had to go to the hospital to get stitches. I didn't even get to go to the hotel yesterday. This is by far one of the hardest tournaments. There's no rest in between, but I had fun though."

He had fun and put in work. Even on Sunday with tired legs, Griffin was exhibiting a measure of bounce we previously weren't sure he had. One Sunday put-back dunk over the rim was enough to convince everyone in attendance.

Still, Griffin wasn't satisfied.

"I felt like I was struggling earlier. I really wasn't playing like I wanted to early; my shots weren't falling. I felt like I could play better offensively."

In three short weeks, Griffin has gone from being a guy the high-majors were going to recruit to being a kid they must have. Simple as that, Blake Griffin has officially blown up and there's no telling how far he can go. We do know this, his list of suitors is long and growing.

Before Kingwood, Tom Izzo went out and offered him a scholarship to Michigan State. Texas motored in there the same week. Griffin said he's now getting hit hard by Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Illinois, Connecticut, Michigan State, Michigan, Kentucky, USC, North Carolina, Texas, Florida and Baylor.

The big question is with his brother playing for the Sooners can he really leave the state?

"It wouldn't be that difficult," he said. "I'm going to go wherever I feel most comfortable with and where I feel like it's the best place for me. It's not really a big Oklahoma things; it's where I feel most comfortable."

Wherever he winds up, Griffin is achieving at a high level. A good player entering the spring, he's cranked it up a few notches and is enjoying the trappings that come with moving up the ranks.

"I wanted it to happen, I just didn't know how things were going to go – how our team was going to look. I'm having fun." Blake Griffin Profile

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