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 HSS exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a monthly blog.
What’s up everybody, this is Jahlil (that’s pronounced J-AH-LEEL) Okafor and this is my first blog entry for USA TODAY High School. I’m really excited to be starting it up.
The biggest thing that’s going on with me right now is the fact that school has started, which isn’t too bad. I’m an upper classmen now so that’s a change for me.
(Note: Okafor wrote this entry before Chicago Public Schools went on strike.)
Of course I had to be fresh for the first day of school so I wore my all white Shell Toe adidas and some adidas shorts and a shirt. My shoe game is pretty serious. I don’t have any shoes that aren’t fresh. But I have to give it up to my teammate Myles Reynolds; he has the best shoe game that I’ve ever seen. His collection is ridiculous. Everybody talks about Kendall Marshall’s (Phoenix Suns) shoe collection, but I’ve seen them both and I think Myles might have him slightly. He has some of everything.
Now that school is in we’ve started open gym twice a week and actually today there are supposed to be a lot of college coaches coming out to watch us play.
I actually just got off the phone with Coach (Tom) Izzo and he told me he was coming. Ohio State and North Carolina may be coming and Coach (Mike) K (Krzyzewski) may be dropping by too. I’m not sure if he’s coming Monday, but he told me that he’s definitely coming soon. That’s pretty exciting for me and my teammates.
I’m kinda used to having big time coaches in the stands, but it’s still exciting when they come. It’s not as stressful as people think. It’s a blessing to me. I had a really good conversation with Coach (Roy) Williams recently. He called me from his office and he told me that there were only two people from Chicago that had that number for him and it was me and Michael Jordan. I thought that was pretty funny.
I talk to Coach Izzo all the time and we have great conversations, Coach (Jeff) Boals, the assistant at Ohio State, and I talk a lot too and we have great conversations too and every time I talk to Coach K it’s amazing. Just to have these relationships with these coaches is great.
Just so you all know I haven’t cut my list at all and I’m wide open. I’ve got a long way to go before I get into all of that.
I have been thinking about some visits here lately though. I don’t have anything set in stone yet, but I talked with Coach K about possibly coming to Duke for their Midnight Madness so I may do that.
Actually me and my boy Tyus Jones are trying to go there together for that. It’s not official yet, but that’s what we’re trying to work out now. We want to go to a Michigan State football game together too.
Most of you guys know about Tyus. He’s the top point guard in our class, and we are seriously planning to play together in college. I know a lot of people don’t believe that because players say it all the time, but we click on the court so well, and we’re really best friends off the court too.
Most people don’t know that away from the basketball court I like to write poetry from time to time. My favorite subject in school last year was American literature. When my mom passed I wrote a poem for her funeral and ever since then I’ve been pretty interested in poetry.
I’m not as in to music as most people my age, but I listen to a lot of Jay Z because of my boy Jabari Parker. He’s the biggest Jay Z fan in the world, so he got me hooked on him.
Like most teenagers I watch a lot of TV. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, it’s kinda soft, but I actually like the show “Pretty Little Liars.” I know it sounds crazy, but trust me it’s a really good show. I also like “One Tree Hill,” that’s a show I’m watching right now.
I love Netflix.
I can’t stay up really late watching my shows though because I get up super early. I’m usually up at around 6 a.m. because I take a 40-minute train ride to school. Then I do a workout before school. That helps me to get started and ready for my day.
Well, I’ve got to get going everybody, but I appreciate you reading and I hope you guys keep coming back because I’m gonna use my blog to release a lot of my recruiting info and talk about what’s going on in my life.
Thanks again and I’ll be back with another blog entry soon.
Don’t forget to follow Okafor on Twitter: @jahprobound