In college basketball it is never too early to start preparing for the future especially when that future is Nazreon Reid. Reid, a 6'10 sophomore from New Jersey, has already established himself as not only one of the best players in his class, but as one of the best in high school basketball.
On Saturday at Gauchos Gym in the Bronx, spectators were able to grasp why this nascent star is garnering so much attention - and why he is now listed at #7 on ESPN's list of top prospects for the class of 2018.
Reid poured in 17 points in the Big Strick Classic regional game and displayed his unique skill set. Unlike most big men, the Roselle Catholic prospect is both a skilled ball handler and a skilled shooter. In fact, Reid says he models his game after NBA all star, Kevin Durant, who possesses these same seemingly incongruous talents - though he has a long way to go before realizing that comparison, of course.
Despite receiving rave reviews this summer, Reid still knows he must continue to improve his game.
"I still would like to improve my shot and my post moves," said Reid.
While Reid might not be a polished product at the moment, it has not stopped college programs from chasing him.
Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland, Villanova, and N.C. State have all extended offers to the rising sophomore. St. John's, who extended an offer to Reid back in April, has been very aggressive in their courting of the talented big man.
Reid visited St. John's and came away impressed with what Coach Mullin had to offer. "I think he is doing a great job," Reid said. "He is a former NBA player so he knows what it takes [to reach the next level]."
Last season, he had the opportunity to play with top point guard Isaiah Briscoe, who will attend Kentucky in the fall. Reid says he still talks to Briscoe and values his advice on the college decision-making process.
"He told me to stay calm and keep my composure," Reid said. "He said that it is ok to be cocky, but don't get too cocky. And more importantly just do what you do on the court."
If Reid continues doing what he does on the court he will have a reason to take pride in his game - and the attention from college coaches.