Offers rolling in for Esa Ahmad following strong junior season

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Class of 2015 Shaker Heights (Ohio) forward Esa Ahmad has watched his recruitment take off this spring following a fantastic junior season.

The 6-foot-7 forward was named the player of the year for the Northeast Lakes District and Associated Press for Division I in Ohio. He averaged 26.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, two blocks and two steals per game.

But even with close to 20 scholarship offers, Ahmad is keeping things in perspective.

“It’s been big. It’s been a great experience,” he told Inside the Hall at the Hensley Memorial Run-N-Slam Classic. “But you’ve got to stay humble. And that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

Interest in Ahmad has come from all across the country.

Ohio State offered a scholarship last week when Ahmad made an unofficial visit to Columbus. Among Big Ten schools, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Penn State and Wisconsin have also offered, while Michigan and Michigan State are expressing interest.

Though playing in the Big Ten is definitely something that appeals to Ahmad, he’s keeping his mind and his options open.

“I think I’m a Big Ten guy,” he said. “But right now, I’m just very open.”

Ahmad, a teammate of class of 2015 target Jalen Coleman with All-Ohio Red this spring on the Nike EYBL Circuit, is off to a strong start in what is regarded as the top AAU league in the country. At the first EYBL session in Sacramento, Ahmad averaged 13.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

“It’s been going good,” Ahmad said. “We’ve been on a roll and we’ve beaten some of the top teams in the country. It’s been a good spring for us.”

Indiana entered the mix for Ahmad with a scholarship offer in March and he said he spoke to Tom Crean on the phone as recently as last week. The Hoosiers are making a push to get the talented forward, ranked as the No. 63 prospect nationally in the 247Composite, on campus for a visit this spring or summer.

“I’ve got a good relationship with them,” he said. “They just want to get me down to visit the campus and get a feel for it. Right now they’re looking at me as a point forward. I’m just trying to get down there and visit.”

The player development and recent success of getting players to the NBA at Indiana is something that has drawn the interest of Ahmad, he acknowledged. Indiana is expected to have its third lottery pick in two years next month in Noah Vonleh, who follows Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller from last year.

“I want to go somewhere where they get their players to the NBA and develop players,” Ahmad said. “That’s a big thing for me.”

(Photo credit: Geoff Powers, Cleveland.com)

  • Alford Bailey

    Love to land him along with Coleman. This week on ITH is like a kid in a candy store for me. I want all these recruits!

  • Gregory Spera

    I’d love to land them all too, but there are already 21 players on ITH’s 2015 Recruiting Board and, just this week, profiles of four more in the 2015 class. Indiana’s 2014 roster has no seniors. I wasn’t a math major, but…

  • Jared Grubbs

    Here’s more video from last weekend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1HSWwFXY8M

  • hoosierfan2336

    Anybody else find that above picture hilarious? #2 is just standing there casually watching him go to work.

  • calbert40

    That is the first thing I noticed too. He looks like he is posing for the camera!

  • marcusgresham

    If you get all 21 then your opponents don’t have them!

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    That is how UCLA used to do it!

  • Snookafly

    He looks like a younger A.J. Hammons in that shot.

  • HoosierGrampy

    But in 2:55 worth of video, he ran the court more than Hammons did all year (excluding the night IU came to Mackey).

  • HoosierGrampy

    I like his game but would prefer landing Daniel Giddens and anyone else.

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