July 19, 2013

Rochester's Finest

It would be tough to name three top level basketball prospects from the city of Rochester, New York. It might even be tough to recall two of them. Some folks can't even remember one guy who was considered an elite prospect from the city.

Well Thomas Bryant hopes to change the way that we remember the city. He's one of the top post prospects in the country and he's putting his hometown back on the map as the guy who carry the torch for his great city. The 6-10 PF hopes that in the future, when people think of Rochester -- they'll think of him.

"It feels good to be out here representing Rochester," he told TarHeelIllustrated. "It just doesn't get any better than that."

The slender 205-pound interior forward was good enough to play for the highest honor that a 16-year old could earn when he earned a spot on the USA 16U team that recently won the gold medal in Uruguay. He played alongside fellow prep stars such as Malik Newman, Diamond Stone and Jayson Tatum. And he got a good amount of playing time, finding success on the glass and on the break as a big man who can really move his feet and finish.

"My best ability right now would be on the defensive end," said the 2015 prospect with a ridiculously long 7-4 wingspan." I just make sure I'm playing hard and that I talk to my teammates. Offensively, I try and play in transition and rebound the ball."

Offensively, Bryant is certainly still a work in progress, but he's one with a huge upside due to his length, athleticism and consistent motor. He feels his skills in the painted areas are one of the best things about his game right now.

"Most of my offense usually comes in the low post. I can score in a variety of ways but that's where I am the most comfortable right now," said Bryant.

On the recruiting front, Bryant is already racking up offers and sincere interest from many programs from all over the nation. He claims offers from a lot of schools and could recall several of them when THI spoke with him.

"Schools that have called recently are Miami, Florida, UCLA, Ohio State and Michigan. They've all offered me," he continued.

North Carolina is another program that has shown some interest in the northeastern forward. He told THI in the spring that some communication had taken place with the UNC staff, through approved channels.

He says that the interest has tapered off a bit since then though.

" They were showing interest a bit ago, but I haven't heard from them this month. I know that they are interested though," he said.

When it comes to making his eventual decision, the bouncy post player says that he's looking at it from two angles.

" Academics are important, first and foremost," he said. " I want to go somewhere that is known for producing power forwards at the next leve, but the academic side is big for me."

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