Frease Talks About His Meteoric Rise

Add the name Kenny Frease to the list of rising Ohio basketball prospects. Frease has enjoyed a rapid rise up the recruiting charts and is now getting offers from basketball heavyweights. What schools are interested in Frease, and where does Ohio State stand?

Last year at this time, a Stark County product headlined the Nike Jamboree in St. Louis. The names have changed, but this year was the same result.

In 2005, Kenny Frease was just beginning to make his name known. The skinny 6-10 Massillon Perry kid had a few scholarship offers already but like what he's seeing today.

"I definitely think it's a combination (of reasons), more so that I just got better," Perry said of seeing a new wave of attention. "This summer I put on 10 more pounds since the end of the season and last summer I put on 20 pounds. Since the Nike camp I've put on 30 pounds since the first time I went last year. Last year people were pushing me around and this year I've held my own down in the post."

He has also grown to 6-11 since last year. Not to mention, Team C-Biz, his AAU team, has received plenty more exposure since that time.

Last season, it was Kosta Koufos, the 7-1 Ohio State commitment from Canton GlenOak that shined at the Jamboree.

But when Frease returned this year, he was one of the top big men in the entire camp, making it the second straight season a Stark County player has shined.

"I'd rather play against a real tall kid than two or three short kids," Frease explained. "Usually I play against guys that are 6-4, but I think the competition I faced at the Nike camp was more similar to what I'll face in college."

Frease thrives on competition.

In fact, he's salivating at the fact he will face Koufos, Delvon Roe and Dallas Lauderdale this upcoming season as Perry has GlenOak, Lakewood St. Edward and Solon on the schedule.

"I was really looking forward to playing against Kosta last year," Frease added, "but unfortunately he got hurt and we didn't get to play against each other."

In addition to the strength and more exposure, Frease also attributes some of his improvement to college drills that a college coach started Perry in doing.

He said the drill helps him work on various post moves, shooting and ball handling.

The interest from college coaches has exploded. Frease lists Xavier, Notre Dame and Indiana as his top three, but many others are still involved.

"I think since June 15, I've had about 50 phone calls," he said. "It's been like every single day someone is text messaging me. I get texts in the morning where coaches will just say good morning and ask how I'm doing or what I'm doing that day. It's overwhelming."

Frease adds that Indiana just recently offered him a scholarship while Notre Dame is about to offer.

The assumption is that Xavier is his leader. It's one that Frease doesn't say specifically, but also doesn't deny.

"I love it down there, their coaches are great," he says of the Musketeers. "I have a great relationship with Sean Miller and Coach (Chris) Mack. For some reason when I went there I was comfortable with them and I wasn't nervous. On some of the other visits I was kind of shy, but I wasn't like that with Xavier."

Frease has also visited Michigan and Ohio State. He intends to go back to both this fall and also hopes to visit Notre Dame for football games.

Despite the fact Ohio State has a commitment from 7-1 B.J. Mullens in the class of 2008, the Buckeyes have been recruiting Frease actively. He even anticipates receiving a scholarship offer from Ohio State.

But although he may be intrigued, Frease says it could be hard to pick Ohio State for one reason only.

"Ohio State – it's going to take a lot for me to go there because they have three 7-footers already committed to the program so I just don't know if there will be room," he explains. "Ohio State is still in the mix. A lot may depend on how I play against Dallas later this year, what I see and how I do when I go down to the (Nike) camp."

Although many other major programs may still get involved, Frease won't be listening unless they offer him a scholarship with no questions asked.

Xavier didn't do that, which is a big part of the reason they are in front – loyalty.

"A lot of schools will say they will offer a scholarship if I do something, or if I get to a certain level," he said, "but Xavier didn't do that. They said, ‘we know you need to get better, but we think you will and we have faith in you.'"

He's come a long ways since last year.

He's also made a lot of people in Stark County quite proud.

"It's good to know you're representing your area," Frease concludes. "I think it's awesome that we get to have Koufos and I in the same area."

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