Jahlil Okafor is the top-ranked center and No. 2 overall prospect in the Rivals150 for 2014. This past summer, Okafor, a 6-foot-10 junior at Whitney Young (Chicago), led Team USA to the FIBA U17 World Championship and took home MVP honors. That makes Okafor one of the most sought-after prospects in the country, regardless of class, with heavyweights like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio State and Texas all in hot pursuit. Okafor has agreed to give USA TODAY High School Sports exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his every day life in a monthly blog.
Hey everybody, I’m back with another blog entry and I’m definitely happy right now because we just won our fall league game.
Right now we’re 10-0 and, of course, I feel pretty good about that. We play every Sunday against teams around Chicago.
READ MORE: Okafor's first blog entry
A team that some people may know is Curie (Chicago) because they’ve got my boy Cliff Alexander. We played them a few weeks back and beat them, and that was fun just because it was against another high-ranked guy like Cliff. We’re really good friends, and we’ve always been around each other being from the same city and on the summer circuit.
I feel like this could be a big year for our team. I’m really confident with what we’ve got, and I think this could be the year that we take the city title. We’re definitely gonna give it our best shot.
Our first game of the season is against DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.). That will be against my boy BeeJay Anya so I’m pumped for that one. Me and him have been talking back and forth all summer saying we’re gonna beat each other so that will be fun. Then of course we’ve got the City of Palms tournament in December and the games against Simeon (Chicago) speak for itself.
I just can’t wait for the season to start.
I assume most of you guys know that the teacher’s strike ended here in Chicago so that was good because we could get things back to normal and get back in the gym.
The first day of open gym, Michigan State, Kentucky and Georgetown were right there to see me work out so that was pretty cool. Since then Duke, North Carolina and a bunch of other schools have been out here.
It was cool because me and my dad just sat and talked with coach (Mike) Krzyzewski after the workout. He just let me know how much he thought I’d improved. His last time seeing me was during the season because he was coaching the Olympic team during the summer. He told me that he was excited to have a chance to possibly coach me in the future and that I had a chance to be one of the best players in this era. Coming from Coach K, I was at a loss for words.
I had a really good talk with coach (Tom) Izzo, too. When I talked with coach (John) Calipari after practice it was cool because it was my first time talking with him. He offered me a scholarship and he reminded me of how well he did with the last two big recruits from Chicago – Derrick Rose and Anthony Davis – and how they were both No. 1 picks. He told me he didn’t think I’d be any different. That was pretty big for me.
Coach Cal is just really cool. I liked him. One thing that he told me that I thought was cool was when he said he’s 50-something years old and that he doesn’t need to call me every day. He said he would if I needed him to, but then he was like, “What do we really have to talk about? I want you at my school and that’s that.” It just showed me how laid-back he is.
It’s a fun time because the coaches can just come out and see us and we can get to know them better like this. Coach Izzo just texted me and told me that he was gonna get up here to see me again this week.
It definitely can get a little crazy. Me and my friend were counting the other day, and I’ve officially got 30 offers. I know that’s a lot, but I’m just taking my time with everything. I’m not in a hurry.
I’m not gonna be able to get out to any Midnight Madness events this week, but I am headed to Duke the following week for their Midnight Madness. I am so excited to be going to that. I can’t wait, I think I’m gonna have a blast at Duke. I’ve heard the fans are crazy. I mean that’s their name, so I don’t even know what to expect. I know it’ll be fun though.
I wish we were going today.
I’ll be meeting up with my boy Tyus (Jones) so I know that it’ll be fun to experience the fans together and sit down and talk to Coach K together.
At some point that weekend, we’ll get over to North Carolina, too. We’ve definitely got to check out the rival. So I’m really excited about that too. I know coach (Roy) Williams just had a surgery so I hope to get some time with him. I texted him telling him that I hoped he would have a speedy recovery. He sent two assistants to my school last week and they told me how much he really wanted to come himself so that meant a lot to me. I’m just glad that he’s doing better.
It’s funny - since these coaches have been coming out, the students at my school have been going pretty insane.
I think Coach K is the most popular coach. He might be a little more popular than Coach Cal based off how the students react to him. It might be because he has the most wins or because he won the gold, but I’m telling you they were crazy over him. A whole bunch of them just stood in front of him taking pictures over and over. The next day at school they couldn’t stop talking about the fact that Coach K was in the building.
A lot of people ask me how much me and my boy Jabari Parker talk about recruiting since we’re both in the same city. Well, we don’t really talk about it all that much, we just talk about regular stuff. I talk to him probably about twice a week, so we’re pretty tight. We used to talk about the both of us going to a school that wasn’t as big and making it into a national powerhouse, but we don’t really talk about recruiting as much anymore. We hear it enough from everybody else.
OK, so stepping away from hoops, I’m very excited that Season 4 of my show “Pretty Little Liars” will be coming sometime soon. I finished up season three recently and I can’t wait for more.
The girls found out that Toby is the person that’s been hurting them the whole time.
OK, I won’t ruin it for you guys, but definitely check that show out. It’s great!
Well, that’s all for this go round, people. I do want to say that you can assume that anything you might hear about my recruitment and me having favorites isn’t true unless I tell you up here.
I just want to thank everyone for reading my blog so far and I want you guys to keep coming back so check back soon for my next entry.
Don’t forget to follow Okafor on Twitter: @jahprobound