NBPA: Rodney Purvis Spotlight

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --- Rodney Purvis wasn't supposed to be here.

The NBPA Top 100 Camp invites predominantly rising seniors and rising juniors for its week-long event that consists of games, drills and mentoring. Thus, Purvis, a rising sophomore from Raleigh (N.C.) Upper Room, wasn't on the invite list.

But when some roster spots opened up at the last minute, the camp's director of player personnel, Dave Telep, made a call to Purvis.

"I got the call at nine in the morning the day camp started," Purvis said. "So I packed my stuff and came. I was excited and hopped right on the road."

To say Purvis proved he belonged would be an understatement.

As one of only four Class of 2013 players in attendance, he finished 11th in the camp in scoring, at 11.5 points per game. But the numbers don't tell the whole story.

Any player can score by shooting a lot, but Purvis displayed a mature and efficient approach to the game, picking his spots and scoring within the flow of the offense.

"I'm used to it now," Purvis said of playing against older opponents. "I've been playing up for the last three years. When I first started playing up in age groups, I was scared and wondered whether I should be out there. But now I've been doing it for the last three years so I'm used to it.

"If you're put out there on the court, you've got to play."

Purvis' best attribute is his explosive athleticism, and when combined with his advanced physique, body control and intelligent approach, he was able to get to the rim and finish against older defenders.

"I'm very explosive – I like to dunk," he said with a laugh. "I just like to get in the lane and create for my teammates or score."

At 6-2, 170 pounds, Purvis is a scoring guard right now, and judging by his performance at the NBPA Camp and his improving jumpshot, he has the attributes that could enable him to succeed in college as an undersized shooting guard if need be.

A combo guard role seems like the most likely college scenario, but Purvis thinks he'll end up at the point.

"Long term I'll probably project to point guard – that's what everyone projects me to turn into," he said. "But being able to play the one or two, that's great to me.

"To play the point, I'll need to sharpen up on my handling, be more talkative and be more of a leader."

However, as someone who models his game after NBA all-star Dwyane Wade, the idea of a pass-first role would take some getting used to -- and perhaps wouldn't utilize his best skills.

"That'd be hard for me," he admitted.

While a college decision is a ways away, colleges are already letting Purvis know that he's wanted, which has far exceeded Purvis' original goals and expectations.

"I always just wanted to have a scholarship to a college," he said. "Where I'm from (Plymouth, N.C.) the only person to ever get a Division I scholarship was to Campbell."

Yet Purvis, who just finished his freshman year, already has scholarship offers from Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Xavier, VCU and Baylor.

"I haven't really taken time out and thought about it," he said of his recruitment, explaining that there is no list or group of favorites at this point.

It's worth noting that Purvis admittedly grew up a UNC fan and the Tar Heel basketball staff has established its early interest in him. UNC's policy of adhering to the NABC request of not offering prospects until after their sophomore year means a Tar Heel scholarship offer is still at least a year away.

Expect the recruitment of Purvis to end up being a local battle. His ties to family in the area, especially his mother, have him thinking he won't travel too far for college.

"I do want to stay as close as possible to my mom," he said, "but I talked to her a little and she said we'll just find the best situation."

Rodney Purvis Profile

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