2016 St. Thomas More guard Christian Vital has been blowing up lately, adding a dozen or so offers as of late, and SMU was another to jump in the mix last week with an offer from assistant coach Jerry Hobbie.
"Coach Hobbie talked to me. We started off the conversation with I have a scholarship offer for SMU," Vital said. "Coach Brown wasn't around on the moment. He said I should receive a phone call from him soon."
Hobbie began by telling Vital about all the positives that could go with getting to play for SMU head coach and Hall of Famer Larry Brown.
"We just talked about the connections players gain that they can't gain anywhere else for playing for coach Brown. He just talks about how great of a guy he is, not even as a basketball coach, but many people respect him more as a person and a man with also being a great basketball coach. He's one of the greatest coaches in history and I've heard that from other people. He also told me he's the only coach to win an NCAA and NBA championship. That really stood out to me."
SMU has only shown interest recently, but they’ve come on strong since making contact with Vital’s coach at St. Thomas More.
”Just recently. They were in contact with coach Quinn the other day and I talked to them. My recruitment is starting to pick up so coach Quinn over St. Thomas More was just going to wait until I got back to school, but I told him it’s alright to give them my number,” Vital said. “The very next day is when coach Hobbie offered me a scholarship. I didn’t think it was going to be that quick. I appreciated that they came out right with it. They said we’ve seen you over the month of the July and we want you to be at SMU.”
His early impressions of Hobbie are limited, but his East coast background stands out to Vital.
”We’ve texted recently. I know he went to Fordham and is familiar with New York. He’s an East coast guy such as myself and he told me my toughness and effort I give make me a perfect guy for coach Brown. Those are the types of guys he’s looking for. He knows I’d fit perfectly.”
”I’m going to wait until I get back to school and then see which coaches show me that I’m a priority and I’ll see which ones I’d feel comfortable playing for. I’m not ready to cut down any schools yet.”
Coach Hobbie made it clear that SMU would love for Vital to take a visit, but he hasn’t set a date yet and needs to talk with his family. Vital has set visits with Dayton on Sept. 4-6 and UNLV Sept. 18.
Vital’s hard work, effort and ability to shoot the ball has plenty of coaches taking notice of his game.
In the Regular Season of the Nike EYBL, Vital averaged eight points per game on nearly 40 percent shooting. He shot 40 percent from three-point land. During Peach Jam, he averaged almost 12 points per game and shot 41 percent from the floor. He also averaged four rebounds per game.
”I bring the work ethic that no one really pays attention to. The hard work and effort for 50-50 balls just come in my favor because I believe in how hard I play and the effort I bring,” Vital said. “I also believe I’m the best shooter when I step on the court. I take pride in that and I’ve been in the gym trying to perfect it as much as possible. My hard work and effort on both ends of the floor is what stands out to people.”