When the early signing period came in November, Delaware (OH) Hayes forward Khalil Iverson decided to bet on himself.
Having only one power-five conference offer, but feeling he has the intangibles and characteristics to be a high major player, the 6-5, 195-pound prospect decided to not sign and wait, feeling he would get rewarded if he put in the work.
“I believed in myself because I have been working pretty hard,” said Iverson. “People have started noticing.”
Iverson gives a lot of credit to his older brother, a former high school basketball player who chose to earn three degrees from Bowling Green instead of playing in college, and his coaches for sending out game film and getting the word out.
Wisconsin already knew of Iverson from him attending the Badgers Elite Camp. It was there that associate head coach Greg Gard told Iverson that if he improved his perimeter shooting, ball handling and got a little stronger, he could be in line for a scholarship.
When Gard came down for a practice Wednesday, Iverson showed him exactly what he requested.
“I had to work on a few things and just get myself better,” Iverson said of his initial conversation with the UW coaches. “After that, that’s exactly what I did. At the next level, you have to have a tighter handle (on the ball) because the defenders get better and everybody else gets faster. Every day in the gym I work on those things.
“I knew I had been working pretty hard, and I was just waiting for that moment. I’ve been wanting them to come down so they could see that I’ve been actually working on my game and getting a lot better. After (Coach Gard) came, I just went out, practice my hardest and things just went well after that.”
Like Wisconsin, Iverson has been in touch with Tennessee throughout the basketball season and received his offer from the Volunteers on Sunday.
“I went for a game against Mississippi State, I think, and I talked to Coach Beau (Braden) a lot,” said Iverson. “Coach (Donnie) Tyndall was able to make it here, along with (assistant coach Al) Pinkins. They watched practice and offered me as well. It’s exciting to get an offer from them.”
“I’ve been talking to them a lot recently,” said Iverson. “Coach Crean is trying to make his way down here, sometime before the 20th, to see me again and talk to me after that. After that, once I go on my Wisconsin visit (February 20-22), I’ll probably make my decision afterwards.”
Claiming no favorites from the group, Iverson said he’s averaging 17 points, 11.5 rebounds, seven assists and 2.5 blocks per game.