Will Sheehey admits that, prior to this summer, he didn't know much about the recruiting process.
But maybe that was because, prior to this summer, schools didn't know much about Sheehey.The 6-foot-6 senior forward from South Fork High School in Stuart, Fla., didn't play AAU ball until a few months ago. And in an era when kids start playing AAU hoops as grade-schoolers, this summer marked Sheehey's first foray into the AAU circuit, a foray that has earned him a handful of offers.
"This is my first year playing AAU," said the 190-pound Sheehey. "I didn't realize the severity, the intensity of the whole recruiting process. It's definitely an eye-opener and I've really enjoyed it."With less exposure than his AAU-veteran competition, Sheehey had failed to garner many scholarship offers heading into the summer. In fact, there were only two.
But he's making up for lost time – both in the number of AAU events he's playing in, and the number of offers he's garnering.This summer Sheehey, a two-star recruit, has played AAU ball in Springfield, Mass., Tampa, Las Vegas, Cincinnati and Orlando. With exposure no longer an issue, neither is a lack of offers, including a recent one from Northwestern.
"Going into the AAU season I only had two offers," Sheehey said. "Now to have all these to choose from, it's great. Heading into the summer, pretty much all the schools said, ‘We'll see you in July.' And now that they've seen me in the AAU tournaments, I have a bunch of offers."Joining NU in offering Sheehey are George Washington, Stanford, Bucknell and others – more than a dozen in all. And Sheehey credits his rookie season on the AAU circuit with the spike in attention, adding that his performance at the It Takes 5ive tournament in Cinci may have sealed the deal on the Wildcats' offer.
"I think that without AAU there would be a ton of kids who would go without scholarships every year," Sheehey said. "At the big (tournaments) and little ones, there are coaches saying, ‘We saw you, we like your game,' stuff like that. Every tournament counts."Even with his list of offers swollen into the teens, Sheehey thinks that he could nab a few more offers by the end of the week.
At that point, Sheehey figures his list of options will likely be complete. Then he plans on narrowing the list to five, and taking official visits to each school.If he were planning his visits today, Sheehey – whose dad played at Syracuse and whose uncle played at Virginia – said that Northwestern would be one of the five.
"As of right now, I'd like to take a visit (to NU)," said Sheehey, who plans to commit in November. "My high school coach and I talked and we think it's a good idea."That some upper-echelon academic schools like Stanford and Northwestern and G.W. have offered is no mistake.
"I think those schools are interested in me because of my academic background and the background of their programs," Sheehey said. "I try as hard as I can (in school). Sometimes it doesn't show, but I try. That's something that I pride myself on and that could carry on to the next level."Standing 6-6, Sheehey thinks he may have another inch or two to grow. While already taller than both his parents, Sheehey's uncle is 6-9, and Sheehey thinks he may have nabbed some of those genes.
But even if he isn't getting bigger, his list of college option has grown a lot.