A caller contender for the champion precocious schoolhouse hoops subordinate successful Colorado has burst onto the nationalist recruiting country this summer.
Meet Zach Keller, a 6-foot-10, 220-pound ThunderRidge powerfulness guardant whose compartment telephone won’t halt ringing owed to calls from recruiters. He’s been offered scholarships to Arizona State, California, CSU, CU, Illinois, Utah, and Wake Forest implicit the past 2 months alone.
“It’s beauteous exciting,” Keller said. “Last year, owed to COVID, I wasn’t capable to get seen by the coaches. It’s a caller experience.”
Colorado is not traditionally location to a plethora of elite hoops recruits. The authorities has produced conscionable a fistful of Top-100 ranked prospects since 1995 erstwhile Chauncey Billups (George Washington) was named a McDonald’s All-American. But Keller appears successful enactment to go Colorado’s adjacent can’t-miss prospect.
“He perfectly blew up,” ThunderRidge manager Joe Ortiz said.
Keller is simply a four-star enlistee and rated No. 78 wide nationally for the Class of 2022. Brandon Jenkins, a 247Sports recruiting analyst, said that Keller blends “physical enactment connected the violative solid to people disconnected clean-up buckets portion besides having the interaction to measurement retired and sound down the agelong ball.”
Ortiz raves astir his changeless energy.
Keller’s late-June show astatine a nationalist prep hoops showcase — the Section 7 Tournament successful Phoenix, Ariz. — solidified his estimation arsenic a high-major talent. Hundreds of assemblage coaches were successful attendance.
“He was the champion subordinate connected the tribunal each clip we played,” Ortiz said. “He was spectacular. … There are inactive caller schools calling him daily.”
Ortiz predicted this mightiness happen. Until recently, however, injuries kept Keller mostly retired of the recruiting spotlight. Keller endured hep country that fundamentally ended his sophomore season. Then an ankle sprain caused him to miss aggregate weeks this past play successful a COVID-shortened season. He returned successful clip to assistance lead ThunderRidge to a Class 5A title.
“It’s bully to cognize that I’m playing with a steadfast assemblage for once,” Keller said. “Trying to play with a sprained ankle being double-taped was beauteous painful.”
Keller credits his high-energy play to the mindset helium adopted portion overcoming wellness issues. It showed during the Section 7 Tournament. There was nary authoritative scoring, but Ortiz said a Wake Forrest adjunct manager tracked Keller with 32 points and 20 rebounds successful 1 game.
“I precocious conscionable changed my afloat shot,” Keller said. “It utilized to beryllium down my caput and present it’s successful front. I’m capable to present and amusement that I tin sprout from the extracurricular consistently now. … My consistency of shooting has gone up a batch since coaches person past seen me.”
Ortiz does not hesitate successful naming Keller the apical precocious schoolhouse hoops subordinate successful Colorado today. But don’t effort telling that to the coaches astatine the recently formed Denver Prep Academy. Class of 2023 halfway Baye Fall is simply a five-star enlistee with assistance offers from schools similar Baylor, Georgetown and USC. He’ll play extracurricular CHSAA successful the Grind Session preparatory league adjacent year.
But it’s hard to reason against Keller arsenic the apical nationalist schoolhouse hoops standout successful Colorado with his quality to marque spot-up threes successful modulation and slam location put-back dunks.
“For me, personally, I cognize I’m the best. That’s conscionable my confidence,” Keller said. “I don’t truly person to comparison myself to different radical due to the fact that everybody is going to bash worldly differently. You should beryllium the champion mentation of yourself connected the court.”