The last few months have been a whirlwind for Westwind Prep's 6-foot-8 junior forward Zylan Cheatham. Since the end to the season for Westwind's National High School team, Cheatham has seen his college recruitment and exposure begin to soar.
Recently, through the Adidas shoe company and the organizers of the Reebok Breakout Camp held in July in Philadelphia, PA, Cheatham received an opportunity to participate on a USA Team of 2014 prospects that will travel this week to Italy and compete in the Euro Camp. At the camp, Cheatham will compete with a group of other American talented junior prospects that will face some of the top players in the world over a five-day period.
"This is an amazing opportunity for me," said Cheatham. "I am really looking forward to this. It is an honor to get a chance to play against the best players in the world, and to go somewhere that I have always dreamed of going to."
In the event, Cheatham will wear a USA uniform and also have an opportunity to compete in front of numerous NBA general managers and scouts. While the focus will not be about the NBA, a strong showing at the camp could raise some eyebrows from the pro level for the future.
Cheatham has shared time this spring with two different club programs, as he has played with the Arizona Magic Pump N Run-2014 squad, and has also spent time traveling with the California Supreme - one of Nike’s top-sponsored programs in the country. Cheatham has played around the country this spring with the Cal Supreme, alongside Mesa Mountain View HS blue-chip 6-foot-10 junior post Payton Dastrup.
While playing for Cal Supreme, Cheatham has often played the four position on the court - a fact that has caused many college programs and scouts to evaluate him as a four-man, rather than his natural position as a small forward. Cheatham understands that many college coaches are currently recruiting him as a four-man, although he would like to be recruited as a small forward. During his brief stint this spring while for his high school coach, Jeff De Laveaga with the Magic, Cheatham has seen much of his time as a guard, which has allowed the athletic prospect to flourish.
It will be very interesting to see which program Cheatham competes for during the summer months, although he has indicated that he will finish the summer with his Magic program. Whether he is recruited as a 3 0r a 4 prospect for the future will play a major role in his college recruitment.
Cheatham already possesses offers from such programs as Texas, Arizona State, Arkansas, Washington, Washington State, USC, Oregon, Cal, Memphis, Indiana, Gonzaga, UNLV, Miami, Nebraska, Purdue, Colorado, Oregon State, New Mexico, Utah State, Northern Arizona, Boise State, Colorado State, Utah and Southern Utah. Cheatham has also garnered serious interest from such elite-high major programs as Louisville, Arizona and Kansas.
Cheatham’s most impressive attribute is his serious length and athleticism. He has really improved his shooting ability, but still needs to improve the consistency on his shot from deeper range on the floor. Cheatham is now handling the basketball like a guard and has shown a great deal of versatility as a player.
Cheatham advised me that he still does not plan to make his decision on a college anytime soon, and would rather take his time in making his decision for college. His plan is to take his official recruiting visits in the fall and then make his college decision on his birthday, November 17th.