Phoenix Country Day talented 6-foot-6 graduated senior forward prospect AJ Hess is still looking to make his final decision on a college home. After having a big senior season and winning a state title, Hess has taken his time on deciding on a college program.
Recently this summer, it looked as though Hess was headed to Colorado College, a nice academic division-III program. But after mulling over his options for the future, Hess decided to continue playing on the AAU/club circuit for an opportunity to continue his college recruitment and land something bigger for himself. With so few prospects still available this summer with anything near his academic performance, Hess became a good looking prospect for many college programs still in pursuit of a talented wing prospect.
I caught up with Hess this weekend, and he advised me that he has been offered scholarships to Southern Utah, Boston University and also an opportunity with the Ivy League's Columbia College. Hess recently took an official recruiting visit to Southern Utah, and also took an official recruiting visit to Boston University this past weekend. Hess just finished a visit to Columbia this week (Monday and Tuesday).
Hess advised me that he has enjoyed each visit and is planning to reach a decision very soon - possibly this week. Whichever school Hess decides on, he will look to attend the school later this month and compete for the program of his choice during the 2012-2013 basketball season.
After leading his high school program to an impressive 31-5 record this season and also to the Division-IV State Championship, after a blowout, 49-29 championship victory over Arizona Lutheran, Hess was also selected to the Arizona Republic All-Arizona Team - a prestigious honor for Arizona high school basketball players in the state for many years.
Joining Hess on the team were four other division-I talents - Kenny Martin (Arizona State signee), Calaen Robinson (Arizona State signee), Tim Derksen (University of San Francisco signee) and Dewayne Russell (Northern Arizona signee).
Hess averaged 19.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals per/game this season, and showcased his ability to play at a high level amidst defenses all season long designed to slow him down.
Hess developed a lot in the off-season while playing for his club program - Team Metro, where he learned a lot from former professional basketball player Eric Gray.
Hess is also an excellent student and is a full academic qualifier already, achieving a 3.5 CUM GPA and a 1910 on the SAT, and also a 26 on the ACT college entrance examination. Still undecided on a major, Hess advised me that he plans to major in either Business Administration, Economics or Finance.
Hess is another talented Arizona prospect that slipped between the recruiting cracks, and is well deserving of division-I interest. Arizona Preps will continue to follow the recruitment of Hess this summer, and bring you an updates as it develops.
Arizona Hoop Review Scouting Report: Hess is among the state's best sleeper prospects. Since he has played his high school basketball in a smaller division, very few college coaches have had an opportunity to see him play. A nice athletic wing prospect, Hess will definitely see his time at the wing position in college, although he excelled in high school as a 3/4. Hess has very good athleticism for his size and is capable of making plays for himself or others. He is a very good finisher in the open floor and also can slash. He has a nice shooting stroke from the perimeter with range and has a good overall handle of the basketball. Does not shy away from competition and likes to make the big play for his team. A versatile prospect, Hess can score inside as well and has good footwork around the basket, where he is very crafty and has a variety of low post moves, which make him an effective scorer around the basket. Will need to continue to improve his ball handling to excel on the wing at the next level. A good rebounder now, Hess will need to bulk up physically to handle the rigors of division-I basketball, but his frame can handle it. A solid defender, but he will also need to improve his footspeed laterally to stay with quicker players. Plays the passing lanes. A good team defender now. Good passer that sees the floor. Has some upside. Very good work ethic and a great attitude on and off the floor.