UCLA Keeping Tabs on Jeter

Henderson (Nev.) Bishop Gorman center Chase Jeter's mother says that the family is hearing from a wide variety of schools, including UCLA...

TDD had a chance to speak with Chase Jeter's mother, Kim about recruiting, recent contact, and much more.

Now that you are getting more involved in Chase's recruiting process, what are your initial impression of how things are going?

Kim Jeter: We're kinda letting him handle the calls but we're always listening to them from the other room when he's doing the interviews and stuff, he does a good job of speaking for himself and we're just kinda guiding him a long and letting him handle it. Until he makes a bad decision which he hasn't yet, we're just kinda facilitating. It's the kids journey and we're just guiding him through it.

How much are you personally dealing with the coaches aside from Chase's and his father's interaction with them?

You know it's just starting with me, I talked to Coach Wojo today for the first time, and I was a little bit of a bumbling idiot (laughing at herself), I'm not used to this yet, I probably told him more stuff than he wanted to know. I talked to Kansas yesterday also and of course, UNLV, Dave Rice, I talk to him regularly. It's happening more and I'm excited to be a part of it because they are getting me more involved in it, which to me means they are more serious about my kid if they are trying to get to know the mother.

Being good friends with Stephen Zimmerman's mom Lori, how are you two helping each other with the recruiting processes your sons are going through?

Stephen and Chase are very good friends, they get compared a lot because they go to the same school, they just make each other better. We're at the same events as they are, so we're friendly with them, especially since they are on the same high school team and the same AAU team. We get along really well. And the friendship with Stephen and Chase just amazes me, because they could be enemies you know but it's the total opposite, they care about each other, they play well together, they make each other better, they hang out, I just really love their friendship.

What makes you think they would be enemies?

Because they are both big men you know ? Stephen has the ranking and Chase is coming up, he's been getting better. Not enemies, that was the wrong choice of words, they could be competition is more what I meant. Before they went to Gorman, they didn't know each other and there's not that many 7 footers around. So when you see two in Vegas and its' those two, they just team up and they do it together, they are both on the same journey.

How does it help Chase having had a father who has been through the recruiting process and has played at a high level in college from your perspective?

He takes comfort having his dad there, I don't know the technical parts of basketball like his father does, so he's always searching out his opinion after he plays, especially since he's very positive with Chase, it just soothes him to have him there. Even if he has a rough game, his dad will tell him that you did this right and next time you need to do this. Chase knows he has experience and he seeks that. He doesn't work out with his dad a lot, our main thing is we get him there, he works with several trainers. He wants to let others coach him and it's working out well.

Is Ron Holmes involved in that player development for Chase like he is with Stephen Zimmerman?

Oh yes, he's got a vested interest in both guys, he's a good guy. He works with them on a regular basis. With Chase, he works on offensive moves, it's real technical, it's the offensive side of his game.

Are you able to get advice from him on recruiting since he's been through it already?

Yeah, we do, but we try to mostly have it be Chase, his dad and myself, it's based on what's good for Chase, not on what others have done. Chase is a good student, so we're really focusing on really good academic schools, like Harvard, Stanford, those really good academic schools are schools we're interested in. He's a 3.7 or so GPA student, so academics is important to us too. He hasn't done the SAT or ACT yet because Bishop Gorman actually requires all their juniors one day to take it, so that's coming up this year. I don't worry about Chase, he balances a lot, he'll work out at the gym, get home for 8 or 9 and then he'll crank out his homework and I don't have to say anything, he's like a well-oiled machine, he just does it.

Where does that trait come from in your opinion?

I'm a teacher, so I take care of making sure he has the academic side of materials that he needs, stuff like that, his dad is the basketball guy. I teach 4th grade, so he's grown up being used to coming to my classroom after school, putting in extra work, so he has that school work ethic in addition to basketball work ethic. I got my Masters when he was 3, so he saw me do that, that's where I think it came from.

I wanted to go back to ask you about the recent Duke and Kansas calls since you mentioned them, what did you think of the conversations?

It was so funny with Duke because I hung up on them twice (laughing). My Bluetooth was still on in the car and I had some technical difficulties which caused the dropped calls. Coach Wojo was just kinda trying to introduce himself to me, just trying to get to know me, we didn't go too deep with that. With Kansas it was the same thing, they are just reaching out, but they talk to Chase on a regular basis. I'd say since June 15th he gets regular texts and calls from a lot of people.

I was so excited to talk with Coach Wojo though that I was babbling my way through the call you know ? It's so huge, I mean, it's Duke, that's the mother load, I was like absolutely we'll come visit, but I don't know how Chase responded, he just handles everything with an even keel. Coach Wojo was very down to earth, he asked good questions and I asked good questions, it was a really good conversation. He was asking me what kind of questions I had and I had a lot of mother type questions for him, like what the housing is like, does he room with basketball players, I don't go too deep into the basketball side of it, that's his dad's job. But I did ask him if they see Chase as being able to play right away because that's huge for Chase, he wants to play his freshman year.

What other schools is he interacting with?

UCLA keeps pretty close tabs on him, Vanderbilt we've been hearing from a lot, Notre Dame, Arizona, he's got offers from both Arizona's, the phone is always ringing. He handles it really well.

Does Chase have favorites already?

He will not go there yet, not even with me. I'll tell him 'cmon, I'm your mom, you can tell me'. He's still trying to keep his doors open, especially since coaches switch around a lot, he's just trying to narrow it down this time next year. He says he wants to go late, but I kinda think I see him going earlier. I think he'll put thought into it but these kids get bombarded, it's kinda crazy when you think about it. My prediction is maybe narrowing it down next summer and decide in the fall but I don't know for sure on that. This is his journey, he's going to decide, we're just going to back him up.

How big a role will visits play in deciding to keep a school on the list or not?

Oh yeah big time, we've been to UCLA for one and of course we've been to UNLV to watch a practice. You get a feel for the campus, you see the students, academic life, I want to for sure visit as many places as we can to get a feel.

Will that happen during the school year?

I think we'll try to do a couple unofficial during the fall, probably like take a 3 day weekend and then when the season is over, we probably won't do too much during the season.

Any early favorites in contention to land a fall visit from Chase and you guys?

I kinda want him to go visit Indiana kind of because I have family there, so from a mom's point of view, I want him to be watched over, you know ? I was talking to Coach Wojo about Duke and I would definitely be game for doing a Duke visit in the fall. I'm personally going by who has reached out and asked us if we're going to do an unofficial visit with them, if they've asked us, they seem to be interested in us. And of course the ones who are close to us, Arizona is so close, we'll be in Phoenix in December so we'll check out the campuses then.

Has Indiana expressed any interest?

Yes, Tom Crean watched a couple of games and Chase gets regular contact from Tim Buckley, we get postcards and stuff everyday from them.

What are you early impressions if the IU program?

I like what I see, they like their kids to stay a couple of years for development and as a mother, that's ideal for me, get his education. He seems like he's a family guy, a coach that the kids look up to and obviously they are a good program. Of course boys think they are going right to the NBA, but as his mother I want him to get his education, I've got my Masters, he's a really smart kid, so it's important he gets his degree so he has a backup option.

Going back to the Duke interest, do you have any reservations about the distance between Vegas and Duke?

Chase has a really good head on his shoulders, he's wise beyond his years and its amazing because he's only 15 and he's already handling a lot of stuff really well, he makes good decisions at school and on the weekends in his social life, so I'm not too worried about it. He'd be fine going away.

Chase wanting to be a 4 in college—that position is one with a lot of variety in the college game-what kind of role does Chase want to play?

He wants to do it all, he's good in the post, but when I watch him, he doesn't always hang out down in the post, he's trying to develop both his inside and outside game.

Who has been reaching out the most to Chase colleges wise?

UCLA calls a lot, they definitely have developed a relationship with us, especially with Chase's dad and with Chase. Kansas is starting, I've gotten a call from Notre Dame, I know I'm missing some, UNLV was at every game, I don't they missed a game this summer. Dave Rice played with Chris at UNLV and Dave Rice's brother is the coach at Bishop Gorman, so there's a connection there. Chase wants to pave his own way though at the same time, he respects that his dad played at UNLV and they are a really good school for him, but he wants to pave his own way, it's his decision. UNLV was one of the first offers, back in the fall.

How big a deal is the schools who offered Chase earlier on relative to new schools who come into the picture moving forward with offers?

I think it's a bigger deal for him because as a kid, you remember those first offers, but at the same time they know, you have to develop your game and prove yourself so that some of the bigger name schools step up and start recruiting you and maybe offering you, schools like Kansas and Kentucky and Duke. He gets that, they aren't just going to be throwing offers out there.

Are there any offers that could come for Chase that you guys would consider game-changers?

He wants a big-time basketball school, and I think he sees himself going to a big-time basketball school, so if any of the schools like Kansas, Kentucky or Duke or Indiana, that would be huge.

If all 4 of those offered, what's the best offer in your estimation?

Oh my goodness, I really don't know, that's when I'd have to really start doing my research. I'm biased of course because of the family aspect of it, my family has been diehard Indiana fans for awhile and they tell me how great Tom Crean is. And Coach K has a reputation for years and years and years. Those are the two I probably know the most about, but I'd have to really visit and start really learning more about them. Right now I'm just kicking back and letting it happen. Right now I'm just observing the interactions and seeing how Chase interacts with the different people, seeing who makes him feel comfortable. To me, that's a big deal that it's a family type relationship because I'm sending my son away when he's 17/18 years old.

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