Recruiting is picking up for Weston (Fla.) Sagemont standout Prince Ali.
But for anyone that has watched him in the Nike EYBL this spring that shouldn't be a surprise. Ali is third in the league in scoring, only behind Allonzo Trier and Malik Newman.
"I think so far it's going pretty well," Ali said of his spring. "Me and coach Adam [Ross] have been talking about it. He told me I could play I just needed to go out there and perform and be smart about it. He said to get in the gym, work hard and everything would pay off."
Right now things are paying off nicely. Ali is clearly improved since last year. He's always been known for his athleticism and ability to play in transition. But now he's gaining consistency in his jump shot.
Ali is averaging 21.8 points a game for Southern Stampede and is shooting the ball at 39.2-percent from three. Ali cites time in the gym, plus confidence for the reasons he's shooting the ball better.
"Pretty much just repetition and just having more confidence," Ali said about his improved shooting. "What it really was, we won the state championship and I was more confident going forward."
In late May, Ali, who was committed to Connecticut at the time, opted to reopen his recruitment. Since then he's received phone calls and scholarship offers from a host of schools.
"Right now I'm kind of open to everybody, but I would probably say the schools I'm really looking at right now are Michigan, UCLA, Indiana and UConn," Ali told Scout.com.
Michigan told Ali they are in need of a guard in the 2015 class. He's been impressed with their ability to develop players.
"John Beilein has a great history of developing players," Ali said. "You see what he's done with Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway and even Nik Stauskas. He develops them and turns them into pros. His pitch to me was he needs a 2015 guard once his boy leaves next year."
"He said he can develop and the crowd is great out there," Ali added. "He said they really love basketball. It's also a great academic school. That's what I like about Michigan."
The day after Ali backed off his pledge from Connecticut, UCLA reached out. The Bruins recruited him prior to his early committed to the Huskies.
"The relationship is pretty familiar," Ali said. "I know the whole coaching staff at UCLA. My boy G.G. is going there. It's pretty much the same thing. They are going to need some guards. They need scoring guards and I feel like I can come in and score the basketball at UCLA."
"[Alford] just told me to keep working hard," Ali added. "He told me I'm a great player. He thinks I can make it at the next level as long as I keep working hard."
Ali's high school teammate Gyorgy Goloman signed with UCLA in the 2014 class. Ali said the two are still close.
"That plays into it because I get to talk to him and ask him how he likes the school and ask him if he thinks it's a right fit for me since I played with him for a whole year," Ali said.
Despite backing off his pledge to Connecticut, Ali said he's still considering Connecticut.
"It was hard to decommit because Kevin Ollie is a good dude," Ali said. "He really cares about his players. But as a person I had to do what I had to do. I had to make the best decision for my family and for myself. My family wants to see me play and I didn't know if they want to go to Connecticut or not. He's a great dude. UConn is known for letting their guards play ball."
"They definitely a have a shot, so long as they keep recruiting me and don't fall off," Ali added.
Indiana has also recruited Ali hard the past month. Ali cited their player development as a reason they intrigue him.
"Tom Crean coached two players most people say I play like," Ali said. "Victor Oladipo and Dwyane Wade. When they came in people didn't think they were going to the NBA and he was able to develop them and turn them into NBA pros and lottery picks. That's what really stands out to me."
Ali said he's also picked up interest from Nebraksa, Maryland and Providence. The next step in his recruitment is to take visits, which he said he plans to do after July.
Four Sticking Out to Ali
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