While many other seniors have wrapped up their recruiting process, Marcus Hopper, a 6-foot-9 ½, 240-pound forward from Holy Cross High School (Flushing, N.Y.), has seen his extended.
Because of his noticeably improved skill-set and highly regarded post potential, Hopper’s postseason has become increasingly more busy. He has found himself with additional collegiate offers, a scheduled official visit and, overall, a necessity to weigh options.
Regardless of a student-athlete’s individual performance, it is tough to get noticed on a squad that has had a collectively par showing in both league and overall play. Last August, as a rising senior, Hopper only held two offers – UMBC and Boston University – coupled with some solid interest from a few colleges. However, because of hard work on the hardwood in both scholastic and non-scholastic games, nine months has changed things for him.
Hopper, who will be receiving his high school diploma on June 4, is seeing that his recruitment lean times are over. And, as more colleges begin to take enough notice to offer scholarships, his athletic future is beginning to take a promising shape.
Hopper told NYCHoops.net on Wednesday that he now holds offers from Marist, Siena, Hartford, Mississippi Valley State and the University of New Hampshire. A recent phone call to Hopper also added Florida Atlantic University (FAU) to his list of offers.
Although he is still waiting to see what other offers come in, Hopper listed his schools in order of preference as: Siena, Marist, Hartford, New Hampshire and, then, Mississippi Valley State.
“They have a good team and a good program,” said Hopper of current top choice Siena. “I’m very interested in going to that school.”
Hopper mentioned that FAU was not placed on his top school list as of yet because the offer was just recently made. Although there were talks about a visit, he said that there is no definitive date set. Hopper also admitted that he is not too familiar with FAU, so he is going to “talk to the coach more….”
Marist, another New York school, was placed at Hopper’s number two spot at this point because of the recent pieces added to the 2011-12 roster – Terrance “T.J.” Curry (Christ the King Regional High School (Middle Village, N.Y.)) and Chavaughn Lewis (St. Mary’s High School (Manhasset, N.Y.)).
“They have a good group of guys on the team. Coach Chuck Martin – he’s a good guy,” said Hopper. “They would be a good fit for me based upon the guys coming into the program.”
Despite his original preference to stay close to home, Hopper says that he is open to whatever collegiate program is best for him – near or far.
Hopper said that Holy Cross teammate Evan Conti, who was being recruited by Hartford before committing to Quinnipiac, told him about Hartford’s up-and-coming program and “great campus.” Hopper expresses interest in Hartford because they “like to play big guys.” Meanwhile, according to Hopper, Mississippi Valley State also tends to utilize its frontline as well as “the pick-and-pop,” which he says is “pretty much my game.”
Hopper, who has an official visit scheduled for Siena on Monday, said that if he doesn’t make his decision by next week that he will make a trip to visit the University of New Hampshire sometime in June.
Although Siena currently remains his top choice, Hopper said that he is just not ready to commit yet.
“I just wanted to see how far I can go, in terms of, what schools I can get… as my season… and postseason [progresses],” said Hopper.
In regards to Hopper’s postseason, if college basketball programs were unable to check him out at the iS8/Nike Spring High School Classic, which just ended last week, they will be able to see Hopper playing AAU ball with Raising Champions (N.Y.) this summer.