By the time Corona del Sol (Tempe) basketball player Marvin Bagley III becomes a senior, he will have his pick from just about any NCAA Division I basketball program.
The latest school to offer a scholarship to the 6-foot-10 incoming sophomore is national champion Duke after he recently took a non-official visit to the campus.
“It was a great campus, great school,” Bagley said Saturday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM‘s Arizona Preps 365. “Obviously it’s different seeing it in person than watching it on TV. I’m glad that I got a chance to do that. They have a great tradition there and it’s like a family. It feels like a family there, and I just love that feeling.”
Family is important for the center-forward, who averaged close to 20 points and just over 10 rebounds per game as a freshman while leading the Aztecs to their fourth straight AIA Division I state championship this past winter.
Bagley’s grandfather is legendary Arizona State basketball player Joe Caldwell, who has been at every game of Bagley’s that young standout can remember.
“That’s something that any kid would want to have from their family,” said Bagley, who had 16 points and 14 rebounds in Corona del Sol’s 57-32 win over Desert Vista (Phoenix) in the state championship game in March. “We try to stay close as a family and try not to break up. Because, at the end of the day, family is all you have, so you have to stay close to them.”
Bagley was recently named National Freshman Basketball Player of the Year by MaxPreps.com and is ranked the No. 8 overall player in the country by Scouts.com.
Bagley has already had 16 scholarship offers — the most recent coming from Duke, Kentucky and UCLA — but he’s not letting the attention get to him.
“I’m just soaking it all in and relaxing and trying to get better.”
The 16-year-old big man has three more years to figure out where his next move will be, but admits he didn’t think he would ever get this type of attention. He added that he doesn’t have any college in mind at this point and is just letting the process take its course.
“Pretty much whatever happens, happens. I have to keep trying to improve on my game and taking it to the next level, and whatever school wants to offer me, then it will happen for me,” Bagley said. “I just have to be patient and it will come to me when it’s time to come.”
Bagley said he plans on spending the summer improving his game, adding he feels he needs to work on being a vocal leader on the court.
“When things are not going right, I need to pick up my teammates and be able to talk on the court so they know you are there,” he said.
He also addressed recent rumors that he would be following teammate Markus Howard and transfer to national power Findlay Prep in Las Vegas.
“I’m here. I’m staying at Corona,” Bagley said. “I don’t know how the rumors got started, but right now I’m an Aztec and I’m going to try my best for this organization. That’s all I’m worried about now.”