Recruiting Trail showcases change in basketball

Oladokun, a 16-year-old from Upland, California, was invited to the Pangos All-America Camp in Las Vegas, which included many of the country’s top 100 prospects. The camp was not held during the in-person evaluation period, so only NBA evaluators, including Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti and Denver Nuggets president of basketball operations Calvin Booth, as well as recruiting analysts, participated.

At 6-9, 210 pounds, Oladokun plays like a full-grown puppy – more enthusiasm than grace – but he’s made his mark by relentlessly rebounding with some of the best prospects in the country.

“I was so nervous,” said Oladokun, who has a 4.5 GPA and after camp received scholarship offers from UC San Diego and UC Davis, as well as a listing offer from Yale University, who didn’t awards athletic scholarships, but may provide other financial assistance.

“A huge part of basketball is confidence; it doesn’t matter if you have the skill,” he continued. “The camp helped me to show what I can do, even though I didn’t play to the ceiling. I understand that they are great players, but in many ways they are the same as me.”

These revelations came from coast to coast.

Last Friday night, in a nearly empty gym, Efstathiou faced Alassane Amado, a lean, 6-9 athletic player from Quakertown, Pennsylvania, who was closely watched from the baseline by coach Marquette Shaka Smart and an assistant coach. Cody Hatt. (They took turns applauding as Amadou played in front of them.)

Efstatiu’s team, which had lost two starters to injuries in the first match, quickly lost 22 points when Amadou blasted down the lane and made a dunk that Efstatiu was powerless to prevent.