4 Star Memphis recruit picks Ole Miss
"I committed to Ole Miss just a few minutes ago," stated Reggie Buckner. "I just felt like it was time to go ahead and do it. Their staff came laid out the red carpet for me."
The 4 star small forward attended the Ole Miss Elite Camp in June and left with the Rebels on his mind.
"They showed me around their facilities and showed me the plans for their new (indoor) facility when I get there. They showed me a good time. I pretty much knew then that it was the place for me. I just wanted to go back home and think things over and talk it over with my mom."
Who else was Buckner considering before he committed to Ole Miss?
"Kentucky, UTEP, and Missouri were also coming after me pretty hard but Ole Miss was just the best place for me. I went over to the Missouri Elite camp last month and my coaches loved it over there and loved their facilities, but it just did not feel right for me and I left with Ole Miss still on my mind. Coach Webster from Kentucky flew down here once and has been calling and recruiting me real hard, but I did not have that relationship with them like I did with Coach (Torrey) Ward (from Ole Miss) and those guys. UTEP was recruiting me real hard too, same as Ole Miss, but the distance was just too far."
Buckner also has a couple of his friends who attend the University of Mississippi.
"LaDerrick Vaughn is over there right now. We played together over here at Manassas, and he told me that it was a good place to be at and that I can come home anytime. And my buddy, Terrico White, we have been competing against each other since we were kids. He is going to be a freshman over there this year, and he told me that they will look out for your academics. That is what I am at school for. He believes they are going to make a deep run in the NCAA's over the next few years and he said Ole Miss was the place to be."
Coach Jerry Anthony, Reggie's assistant from Manassas, believes the Rebels have found themselves an impact player.
"He is probably the most versatile player I have seen come through Memphis since Penny Hardaway," added Coach Anthony. "There has not been anyone with his size since Penny who can handle and pass the ball like he does. He is a legit 6' 8" small forward that has a good chance to play in the pros one day. A lot of the recruiting sites have Reggie as the number one player in Memphis this year over Leslie McDonald and Ferrakohn Hall."
Reggie was a late bloomer which hurt his national recognition until this summer.
"We had five players average in double digits last season and Reggie averaged 16 points and he could have averaged 26," stated Coach Anthony. "He set his sights on defense and averaged 13 points and he led the city in blocked shots a game with 6.7. Most of the people say Reggie is not rated any higher nationally (#90 overall prospect by Scout.com) due to the fact that he was such a late bloomer. He did not get invited to all of the national showcase tournaments last year that Leslie (McDonald) played in."
But Buckner burst on to the scene this summer at the Boo Williams invitation.
"I think he caught a lot of people by surprise. He led his team to the tournament title over LeBron James' team and scored 19 points ( 8 - 11 from the field), 11 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots. He was named the MVP and then we started hearing from everyone. Kentucky has been on him really hard and Missouri has always been there from day one. But I really think it came down to Ole Miss, Missouri, and UTEP."
Why Ole Miss?
"Because of Coaches Torrey Ward and Andy Kennedy. Coach Ward came to more of his games than anybody, and he loved being around Coach Kennedy. Coach Kennedy came and saw him play and loved him. Coach Owen Miller also came to see him play and helped out with his recruitment. Reggie just fell in love with that coaching staff."
What can the Rebels expect?
"They can expect a lot of defensive energy and a very explosive kid who will fly around and dunk over you. He will also have a lot of highlight passes that will make you go wow. Reggie will bring his A game and play very hard every time he touches the ball."
Reggie reports a 2.8 GPA / 17 ACT and plays for the Memphis Hoopers on the AAU circuit.
Watch below for highlight of Reggie at the Boo Williams Invitational.
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