Corey Kispert plans to stay busy even before his last run through the AAU circuit begins.
Three programs have distinguished themselves with the four-star small forward from Seattle — Gonzaga, Notre Dame and Virginia — and the plan is to see each of them this spring. Sometime in the next couple weeks the 6-foot-6, 210-pound athlete will make the trek east to see Notre Dame and Virginia.
Kispert will be seeing Notre Dame and Virginia for the first time. Virginia has yet to make an official scholarship offer.
“I feel pretty good with those three,” Kispert said. “Kinda on the outside of those three is Utah. The reason why I’m taking these visits, only three I guess in the spring, if there are any schools that get in contact with me that I’d like to play for I’d like to have two visits in my back pocket over the summer to spend. But right now those are the pretty clear cut three that I like.”
Notre Dame has been tracking Kispert for some time. Assistant coach Rod Balanis has made the trek to Seattle on multiple occasions, including during the school season to watch Kispert play with King’s High School.
Kispert has yet to meet head coach Mike Brey but sees him as a big reason the Irish have moved into the top group. Same goes for the head coaches at Gonzaga and Virginia.
“What separated them from the pack is the coaching staffs, especially at the head,” Kispert said. “At Virginia, Tony Bennett is a Class A guy. He’s as good as they come in the coaching business. He seems to know the game and is able to teach it really well. With Notre Dame, coach (Mike) Brey, I haven’t gotten a chance to meet him but he seems like a really good father figure for all the guys that are on the team. They seem to respect him and really take after him and respond to him well.
“And then at Gonzaga, coach Few has done a crazy incredible job building that program. He knows how to win and how to get the right guys there and get them to play hard as a team.”
Gonzaga will likely get a visit after the AAU live periods this month but before school lets out. Kispert has been to Spokane before.
Ahead of these visits, Kispert has already developed a comfort level with leaving the Pacific Northwest for college. He’s talked in the past with former Virginia guard Joe Harris, a Washington native who starred for Bennett from 2010-2014.
Harris imparted some advice about finding the right fit no matter the distance from home.
“He just said that the people and the community and the coaching staff made him feel really comfortable,” Kispert said. “They made him feel at home. I’m confident that I’ll be able to handle it. If it’s the right fit for me then I’ll be able to handle being that far away from home. I’m definitely not trying to force anything for sure.”
Kispert also wants to impress the trio of coaching staffs this spring as they venture to the West Coast to watch him play. Known as a shooter last summer, Kispert believes his game has continued to evolve throughout the season.
“I just want to consistently play at a high level,” Kispert said. “Another part of my game that I’ve been good at is I’ve always kinda been a workhorse. I have a high motor. If I combine my high motor with my improved skill from the offseason and the school season, I think it’ll turn out really well and make a good impression on the coaches that come out and watch.”