Herard Schneider is one of the top up and coming prospects in 2016. But the McKinney Boyd center did not have the typical rise most kids in his class did.
Schneider hails from the island of Haiti, where he began playing basketball two years ago and came over to America to be under the supervision of Derrick Shelby and get t
"Being the big kid from a different country, when he first got here in August of 2012, he was a 6-foot-10 kid that weighed 203 pounds. Now, less than a year later, he's 6-foot-10 and a half and I weighed him today at 240," Shelby said. "He's put on lots of muscle, lots of good weight."
In Haiti, Schneider did not have the means to eat the right foods or even enough food to develop his body but when he came over to the United States, he was able to get the right diet and is now, as Shelby put it, ‘blossoming.'
Two weeks ago, Schneider took a visit to SMU along with 2015 center Djery Baptiste, which was his first time being on a college campus. Head coach Larry Brown wasn't there, but the point was to get Schneider on the Hilltop before the end of the unofficial visit period.
"You had a kid that had no hope, let alone think about college to now, on his first unofficial visit to thinking that was really cool," Shelby said.
As Schneider still develops his game, he will understand the little nuances of the game and will surely climb even higher in the 2016 rankings.
"Offensively, he sort of reminds me of a young (Hakeem) Olajuwon with great feet (played soccer in Haiti), great balance and a phenomenal touch," Shelby said. "He's extremely explosive now after working here on the Vertimax and things of that nature, so anything by the rim, he's tearing it down."
While Schneider was playing in T.J. Ford's Elite 60 camp, Shelby mentioned that Jim Hicks of rcssports.com tweeted that he is the next Myles Turner, which is another reason why coaches are salivating over Schneider.
In the short 10 months that Schneider has been in America, he has grown tremendously on the court, but it wasn't always easy at first.
"We spent a lot of time showing him how to do things. When you were a little kid, you'd pick up a picture of a dog and say, ‘dog' and when you'd pick up a picture of a cat you'd say, ‘cat,'" Shelby said. "We had to show him how to rebound, we had to show him how to block shots, we had to explain to him what that was."
The toughest part of teaching those techniques was the language barrier. Schneider understood only a little English, but he's getting better and better at the language, and it's easier to communicate what needs to be done on the floor.
When the live period opens this week, Schneider and his Pro Skills teammates will be taking the floor and Shelby believes Schneider will really wow people.
In addition to an offer from Kansas State, schools like Texas, TCU, Kansas, Indiana and Creighton have been showing interest in Schneider.
"Everybody that has seen him, has liked him. As soon as the live period opens this week, it's going to be really crazy," Shelby said. "He's better now than what they've seen in April. He's becoming something special."
Most recruiting sites have Schneider ranked in the Top 50 in his class, but with his huge upside, Shelby believes the sky is the limit. Shelby said Schneider is going to focus on the little things during the live period to show the coaches how special he could be.
"Working on getting better, working on learning English better, you know all the basic stuff that's really important," Shelby said. "He can't go to college for another three years anyway so we just have to focus on him learning the language, doing good in school, working out and getting used to the culture."
With Schneider's size, feet and the way he finishes around the rim, Shelby said he would take Schneider against any freshmen in the country.
This weekend, Schneider is playing in a local tournament then Great American Shootout next weekend and finally the Las Vegas Classic so look for more and more interest to come his way during July.
But SMU appears to have made an early impact.
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