GlenOak's Koufos Gets Back Up To Speed

Canton GlenOak 7-0 junior Kosta Koufos was among a host of basketball prospects in attendance at Saturday night's football game between Ohio State and Texas.

A summer stress fracture could normally slow or stop a player to a grinding halt -- unless you're over seven feet tall with a little bit of ambition. Or simply, your name is Kosta Koufos.

The junior from Canton GlenOak High School is measured at 7-0, and still growing. He missed out on the last two full weeks of AAU season, however, because of a stress fracture in his leg.

A quick healing process, aided by a lot of hard work and dedication got him playing basketball within three weeks.

Attribute that to a rigorous workout routine on behalf of the gentle giant. Koufos works out a couple of times on his own, and then a few times a week additionally with his high school program. But to add to it, he goes to nearby Walsh College to work with the frontcourt players in the gym as well as with their advanced stretch-band training.

"That's going real well," he said of the training. "They also do a lot of shooting drills, running and conditioning, so I think I've got a head start.

"I've gone to a lot of open gyms around like LeBron's, and all of those guys that have them," Koufos added.

Although Koufos ideally might wish to improve his ball handling and footwork on defense, he's leaving nothing isolated. He simply wants to improve any way he can.

He maintains that he needs to work on everything.

"Everything I can improve on, I'm doing," Koufos said.

But he did acknowledge the stretch-band training and his workout routines have him feeling a little better.

"It's helped me a lot actually," he admitted. "It's helped my quickness, my strength, and agility."

The recruiting process has taken a back seat for Koufos, who missed out on visits to Michigan, Xavier, and several campuses down south because of a transmission problem with his car earlier this summer.

Because of his weight programs and open gyms, the recruiting has been put on hold—for now.

"I'll probably wait until spring (before taking any more visits)," Koufos said. "The fall is my time to get ready for high school season, so I think I'll wait."

Koufos gave a short list of schools he's considering currently.

"Most definitely Ohio State, obviously," Koufos said. "Maryland, Illinois, Duke and Akron University."

He didn't turn down the chance to make a trip to Ohio State for the weekend game against second-ranked Texas, however.

Koufos arrived at Ohio State around 3:00 p.m. and spent the afternoon hanging out with several other recruits, including all four commitments in the class of 2006.

"I got to talk to everyone," Koufos said of the experience. "I hung out with Greg Oden, (Daequan) Cook, David Lighty, Dallas (Lauderdale), Yancy Gates, Jon Diebler, B.J. Mullens and Mike Conley."

Koufos said he used the time as a bonding experience.

"They had a tailgating party there, so we all tailgated with each other for several hours," he said of the itinerary. "Then we waited there outside for the team to come out and watch them go to the stadium."

He summed up his thoughts on both the day with the other recruits as well as the atmosphere at the game.

"Everybody was just so friendly," he said of the other basketball recruits in on unofficial visits. "They all are so nice, so friendly, and honestly you just feel like you are at home.

"What was that, 105,000 people there? Oh my gosh. I had the biggest headache when I got home. I love the atmosphere at Ohio State, I loved the game, and I really love the place and the spirit," he added of his overall experience.

Koufos, who says his high school team is excited about their expectations this year, will be guard oriented and have looked really good together through open gyms. He remains focused on his upcoming season, as he says he probably will not make any sort of decisions about his college plans until after the season or beyond.

"We've got a real good team this year," he said of GlenOak. "We have some new guys coming in, and the guys are really good. We are really excited."

As a sophomore, Koufos averaged 15.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots per game for GlenOak.

He is ranked as the nation's No. 8 power forward in the Class of 2007 and 20th overall nationally by

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