One of the nation’s top-ranked sophomores this week is playing at Lexington Catholic, located about two miles away from the University of Kentucky.
Or two miles away from, as he put it, “one of the biggest schools in America.”
Jaden Springer, who plays for Rocky River (N.C.), is ranked as a five-star prospect and as the No. 10 player in the class of 2020 by both ESPN and 247Sports. Rivals also has Springer rated as a five-star recruit but 13th nationally in his class.
The 6-foot-2, 176-pound shooting guard had 26 points (12-for-14 shooting), eight rebounds and two blocks in 24 minutes as Rocky River won 76-55 over a previously undefeated Bryan Station team Thursday night in the Traditional Bank Holiday Classic quarterfinals. He had 20 points and six rebounds in a come-from-behind 73-72 win against Doss late Wednesday night.
Springer has reported offers from 11 schools, among them UCLA, Auburn, N.C. State and Tennessee. UK has not extended an offer but the Wildcats coaching staff has been in touch with Rocky River head coach Jason Moseley.
“Joel (Justus) does a great job of recruiting our area, so we’ve spoken with him,” said Moseley, a Louisville native who played at Eastern High School and Kentucky State University and worked as a basketball operations assistant under Tubby Smith. “He had wanted Jaden to come down for Big Blue Madness and we talked about it and thought it would be a better situation for him to wait and come down when we brought the team down so we didn’t have to make two trips.”
Springer on Friday will take an unofficial visit to UK along with senior teammate Jordan Campbell, who’s received some mid-major offers, Moseley said.
The team, which this week has gotten to practice at UK’s Joe Craft Center and at EKU’s facilities in Richmond, will be in attendance for the UK-Louisville basketball game Friday afternoon.
Receiving an offer from the Wildcats would make Springer’s day.
“It’s something I want,” Springer said with a grin. “That’s one of the biggest schools in America so that would be great for me if I could get an offer from there.”
Rocky River (10-2) will play Lexington Catholic (9-3) in the tournament semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday.