Buckeyes Offer 2016 Hoopster

The Ohio State basketball staff offered 2016 small forward prospect V.J. King of Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary. Though King has yet to play a minute of high school basketball, the 6-5, 160-pounder has already grabbed national attention. Go inside for the prospect's full story.

The world of college basketball recruiting is expanding at a remarkable rate. The Ohio State basketball staff won't be left trying to catch up.

Keeping up with the times, OSU head coach Thad Matta and his staff extended a scholarship offer to St. Vincent-St. Mary small forward prospect V.J. King, a 2016 prospect entering his freshman season with the Fighting Irish.

Sporting a 6-5, 160-pound frame, King has seen the hype that started when he was 12 years old turn into a tangible scholarship offer from one of the country's top programs.

"It's humbling," Vincent King, the prospect's father, told BSB. "VJ is the same kid he's always been and he has kind of had this thing around him in terms of attention for a few years, so I think for him its not really that different of a lifestyle.

"To be in a situation to have your home state university recognize that there is something worth speaking about and something worth paying attention to, that's a great thing. That's really all it is for us. Our lifestyle doesn't change."

Vincent King is a native of Cleveland and currently moved his family back to Northern Ohio where he is the executive director of The First Tee, a mentoring program that uses the game of golf to help positively impact the lives of area youths.

Vincent King held a similar position in North Carolina before moving back to his home state. His son, however, started gaining attention on the basketball floor at Charlotte (N.C.) United Christian Academy through the eighth grade.

The decision seemed natural for V.J. King to enroll at St. Vincent-St. Mary, a renowned basketball program that is known as the school NBA superstar LeBron James attended before being selected No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003 draft following his senior high school season.

Vincent King, however, said reasoning more than basketball played a part in his son's enrollment in the private school.

"What's funny is that I want folks want to kind of make it seem like it was basketball oriented, but it really wasn't," said Vincent King, who has had a long-established relationship with Irish head coach Dru Joyce. "For somebody to sit there and not see everything that St. V has to offer, you'd be leaving yourself in the dark a little bit.

"You can't help but to look at the historical data from the school with some of the scholarships that are given, so all of that along with the athletics and having a relationship with Dru kind of played into that situation. Certainly having one of the best ball players to have ever picked up a ball as a graduate didn't hurt. It was nice. It is a good fit."

V.J. King picked up scholarship offers from UNC-Greensboro and UNC-Charlotte, but the Buckeyes offer served as the first opportunity from a program considered to be at the elite level.

Given the younger King still has four years of high school basketball ahead of him, it's safe to assume that more opportunities will present themselves. Vincent King, however, said the topic of narrowing down a timeframe for a decision hasn't yet been discussed.

"We don't (have a plan), and I know that sounds strange, but I'll tell you why we don't," Vincent King said. "It is so early in the process and honestly for us to begin thinking about where want to go to school and when we plan on narrowing it down, we just have no idea.

"I hope that he continues to work hard, get better and stay humble, because if he does that then we won't have to worry about anything. If he doesn't, then I guess we'll be talking about other things. I tell this to VJ: ‘I had a career, you better get one. If you want it bad enough, you'll get it.' "

For now, V.J. King is adjusting to a family move, a new community and fresh school. He happens to be an advanced basketball player that can attack the basket, knock down a jumper from 3-point range and take games over with his athleticism, he's just focused on being a kid.

"We are keeping our routine the same," Vincent King said. "For him, it is getting up in the morning, eating his breakfast, being a good brother and good son and trying to be the best ballplayer and best friend he can be. After that, wash the dishes, get the trash and do your homework. Not a whole lot changes for us."

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