Cooke becoming a hot name

To say that July has been kind to Hallice Cooke would be an understatement.

The 6'3 rising junior who plays AAU ball with Sports U/Team Izod has strung together a number of breakout performances this summer, and college coaches are taking notice.

"VCU offered me last night and Richmond offered today," Hallice Cooke told Hawk Hill Hardwood. He then rattled off a list of other schools that have already extended offers his way. That list includes South Florida, Iona, Wagner, Rice, and Saint Joseph's. In addition to those offers, a plethora of Big East and Atlantic Ten schools are also showing serious interest.

All of that interest is the result of what has been a terrific summer for Cooke and his Sports U teammates. Last weekend, they captured the 16U crown at the Under Armour Summer Jam in Wisconsin. Prior to that, they competed in Hoop Group's Summer Classic East. It was here that Cooke turned heads, knocking down eight threes in a contest in front of a bevy of college coaches. His willingness to clamp down on the defensive end and drain shots from the perimeter have been constant throughout July. On Thursday, Cooke and his teammates head to Las Vegas for the Fab 48.

This fall, Cooke will return to legendary coach Bob Hurley's Saint Anthony's program in Jersey City. Saint Anthony's finished last season as the top-ranked team in the country, in the same year that Hurley won his 1,000th career game. Back at Saint Anthony's, Cooke will team up with seniors Kyle Anderson and Jerome Frink, fellow junior Josh Brown, and more in hopes of making new memories.

In the beginning of June, Hallice took an unofficial visit to Saint Joseph's with AAU and high school teammate Josh Brown. "I liked it a lot," Cooke said of the visit. The school's small class sizes made an impact on Cooke, who said that the small classes let you "get to known your professors." Cooke also enjoyed the 24-hour access to the gym and facilities.

While that June visit was his first to Saint Joseph's, the school is not entirely unfamiliar to him. Cooke knows former Hawks Dwayne Lee and Ahmad Nivins, who also played their high school ball at Saint Anthony's. In fact, Cooke plans to work out with Nivins in August when the summer circuit shuts down.

Hallice plans to take a few more unofficial visits this summer. VCU, Iona, and Seton Hall are among the schools that he plans to visit, with San Francisco being another possibility.

With his breakout performances during the first live evaluation period, there are certain to be new schools, and new coaches, tracking Hallice Cooke during the second session.

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