Chereef Knox was planning to attend Neumann-Goretti when he was in eighth grade.
But before he started as a freshman, Knox moved in with his uncle, and Imhotep Charter was right down the street from his new home.
Three years later, Knox can call himself a back-to-back Public League and state champion.
Knox didn’t take basketball seriously until seventh grade, and it wasn’t until he joined the program at Imhotep that he realized there could be life in basketball after high school.
“I just really started playing basketball in the seventh grade and didn’t know the basketball world [that well], but being in high school and being in a good program like Imhotep Charter, it’s just showed me that this is more than life,” Knox said. “I can really take this to the next level.”
The 6-6 swingman will take it to the next level. Knox has offers from Hofstra, George Mason, and Old Dominion, and was going to decide amongst those three schools, until he consulted his uncle, mom, and Panthers’ coach Andre Noble.
They all agreed it was best that Knox open his recruitment back up. Since then, Knox has received interest from Virginia Commonwealth University of the Atlantic 10 Conference. He doesn’t plan on making a decision until February.
Knox’s game has evolved since wearing a Panthers uniform. Since Imhotep had good guard play when Knox was a freshman, Noble asked Knox to play center. Without batting an eye, Knox accepted his role and ended up leading the team in rebounding.
“Some of times, he was five inches shorter and giving up 50, 60, and 70 pounds and he would get the job done for us,” Noble said. “I just think that says a lot about him, the competitor he is and the heart that he has.”
Only growing around an inch since his freshman year, Knox had to improve in other areas of his to be effective.
“I think the biggest thing he’s improved is his shooting. He’s gotten a lot stronger and he’s gotten better in a lot of ways,” Noble said.
“Normally you see a lot of kids like Chereef that are big eighth grades and then if they don’t grow much more once they get into high school, they fizzle out,” he continued.