In very nice fashion and in one of the most amazing stories you will see or hear about, Hillcrest Prep's very explosive and athletically gifted 6-foot-6 senior guard Jamiyah Neal has pulled the trigger on his college recruitment during the NCAA's Early Signing Period - signing a national letter of intent with a PAC-12 program. While this summer and fall it had looked as if Neal was headed in one direction, his terrific performances this fall opened doors, and led him in a completely different direction.
This is a terrific story at a time where there are not many stories like it for Arizona prospects. During the growing COVID pandemic over the past (6) months, it has been very difficult for elite prospects around the country to raise their recruiting stock, as Division-I college coaches have not been permitted to attend exposure events to evaluate basketball prospects. In the case of Jamiyah Neal, his dominant performance at the recent Pangos Premier 80 Showcase proved to be enough for him to receive an offer from Arizona State Head Coach Bob Hurley, personally.
In one mere game performance in the event, Neal showcased his unique explosiveness and athleticism, ability to make plays and finish at a very high level, handle and pass the basketball and also shoot the ball with excellent range - leading to a monster performance in the event. With Bob Hurley in attendance for the event, as a result of his son's participation (Bob Hurley Jr.), Hurley himself saw what myself and many other scouts have seen from Neal this summer and fall - an NBA level athlete with an excellent motor and a well-rounded offensive skill-set. Neal is also a superb defender with quick hands and feet, and a willingness to become a lock-down defender over time.
Neal has all of the intangibles and God-given talent that suggests that he is a steal for almost any college program, as his upside and potential for the future are absolutely glaring. Due to the COVID pandemic, most college coaches did not get to see his tremendous talent, but Hurley did, and rather than wait, the Sun Devils' basketball program jumped on the opportunity - and so did Neal.
A native of Ohio, it was believed that Neal was leaning towards signing with the University of Akron, but after his recent offer from Arizona State, the opportunity to play in the PAC-12 Conference was too much to pass up.
Neal decided to sign with the Sun Devils on Monday, and will now focus on helping lead a loaded Hillcrest Prep team the remainder of the year, while developing for his future Arizona State coaching staff - looking to make an impact at the next level. His life has and will certainly continue to change now, as he is no longer a big-time sleeper prospect, but now is a made man - a PAC-12 signee that will compete against the nation's best talent.
Congratulation's Neal and his family on this amazing accomplishment, as well as the Hillcrest Prep program. Very excited to see such a success story happen to such a fine young man, that is so well deserving.