Ohio, the Buckeye State, is known for producing talented forwards. A recently signed Cleveland Cavaliers forward who goes by the nickname "The King" can attest to that. Steve Lavin’s newest target, Omari Spellman, hails from the Buckeye State (though he has New York connections). And though nobody is comparing Spellman to Lebron James, Spellman is still a very talented basketball player, and would be a definite impact recruit for St. John's.
The 6’8" forward from North Royalton, Ohio, is the 24th ranked prospect in the class of 2016 according to ESPN.com.
For the last two seasons, Spellman was the star at North Royalton High School. Last season, Spellman averaged 22 points and 9.8 rebounds per game and was named second team All-Ohio for Division I. Spellman led his his team to a very impressive 19-2 record.
However, due to eligibility issues, Spellman is transferring to the MacDuffie School, a preparatory school in Massachusetts.
Spellman has received a lot of attention this summer playing with his AAU team, Team Scan (NY), the squad that has included very good recruits such as Chris McCullough (Syracuse) and Shavar Newkirk (St Joseph’s). In addition, Spellman participated in the highly touted Lebron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas and has also been invited to the 2014 Big Strick Classic in New York. This event will also feature St. John's target Isaiah Briscoe.
Suffice it to say, it has been a very busy summer for the rising junior Spellman.
Scouting Omari Spellman
Spellman’s strengths are his defense, his rebounding, and his ability to finish at the rim. He is also an above average shooter which leads observers to believe that he can be a stretch four at the next level.
However, there have been issues surrounding Omari Spellman’s conditioning and weight. Spellman weighed in at 268 lbs at Lebron James Skills Academy. This is a bit of a concern since this will affect Spellman’s ability to run up and down the court. Despite these concerns, many scouts are intrigued by Spellman’s talent.
The scholarship offers have been pouring in for Spellman.
Besides St John’s, Spellman has received offers from Seton Hall, Villanova, Indiana, Florida, Virginia Tech, and Ohio State.
It is hard to know his leader, but he appears to be high on Billy Donovan and Florida. In an interview given to Cleveland.com, Omari Spellman appeared to be excited after receiving an offer from the Gators.
"That was cool because it let me know my hard work was really paying off," Spellman said. "I've liked Florida as a school since I was younger when they had Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Chandler Parsons and Bradley Beal."
It is is still very early in the recruitment process for him and things are likely to change. St John’s fans have a reason to be optimistic - before moving to Ohio, Spellman lived in Middletown, New York, with his father. It wasn’t until high school that he decided to move to Ohio with his mother. In addition, Spellman’s AAU team is based in New York.
Judging by his skill set he would be a huge addition to the St. John’s program.