Ask Omari Grier or Julian Bond about the benefits of attending a postgraduate prep school, and there's a chance you'll hear positive feedback.
After receiving little recruiting interest in high school, the 2010 graduates enrolled in prep schools. A year later, both players are the recipients of NCAA basketball scholarships.
Grier, a 6-foot-4 combo guard, signed to play at Division I Florida Atlantic University. A 6-1 shooting guard, Bond received a scholarship to Division II Lock Haven.
Grier's journey to college covered a lot of miles. Looking for more exposure, he transferred from Episcopal Academy to Impact Basketball Academy in Las Vegas before his senior season of high school. He spent this past season at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, Maine.
"I think, overall, going to all these different places was definitely a learning experience," said Grier, who chose FAU over Arkansas-Little Rock, Maine, Towson, and Mount St. Mary's. "Even though I haven't been to college yet, I feel like I'm prepared for college, being away from home.
"I experienced a lot of places, and going there just allowed me to mature as a student, and as a basketball player."
Going to prep school provided Bond the opportunity to show scouts he's capable of playing in college. As a senior, he saw limited minutes as a reserve on Plymouth Whitemarsh's 2010 PIAA Class AAAA state championship team. He then attended the Phelps School in Malvern.
"That year at Phelps helped me develop my game more," Bond said. "A lot of people look at prep school like it won't benefit them. But it helped me a lot."
Raleigh makes history. Constitution High senior Erik Raleigh gave an oral commitment Friday morning to play at Central Connecticut State. The 6-8 power forward accepted the Blue Devils' offer while on an official visit to the campus in New Britain, Conn.
According to Constitution coach Rob Moore, Raleigh is the first Constitution athlete to receive a full athletic scholarship. Constitution's Xavier Harris gave Penn an oral commitment earlier this year, but the Quakers, as a member of the Ivy League, don't provide athletic scholarships.
Raleigh, who missed most of this past season with a broken wrist, is scheduled to take summer courses at Central Connecticut State in July.
All-American or bust. Academy of the New Church junior forward Savon Goodman's goal is to become the area's seventh boys' McDonald's all-American since 2006.
That's why the 6-7 Villanova recruit loaded his summer with elite-skills basketball camps where McDonald's selection committee members evaluate talent.
"I'm definitely pushing to make McDonald's and improve my ranking," said Goodman, who is regarded as the nation's 48th-ranked college prospect in the Class of 2012, according to Scout.com. ESPN.com (55) and Rivals.com (62) also list him as a top 100 recruit.
"I'm just trying to make progress," he said. "I'm in the gym a lot working on my jump shot, my handle, going coast to coast, and just [being] an all-around better basketball player."
On Saturday, and Sunday, Goodman and Horace Spencer, an eighth grader at Klinger Middle School in Southampton, Bucks County, are representing the area in the invite-only Pangos All-American Camp in Long Beach, Calif. The tournament is for athletes going into the ninth, 10th, 11th, or 12th grades next year. Spencer is one of only three current eighth-graders at the camp.
Then, on June 15-18, Goodman will participate in the NBA Players Association's Top 100 camp at the University of Virginia.
Goodman is also scheduled to partake in the Kevin Durant Skills Academy Camp in Chicago on June 26-28. The camp, hosted by Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder swingman, is for 20 of the top high school players and 10 college swingmen.
A week later, he will be in Akron for the LeBron James Skills Academy. The four-day event features 80 of the nation's top high school players and is hosted by James, the all-NBA forward for the Miami Heat.
Mingledough goes Division II. Unlike Phelps teammate Bond, Ben Mingledough had Division I options. The 6-5 swingman, however, signed with Division II West Chester over Division I offers from North Carolina A&T and Tennessee at Martin.
"I feel like I can go there and play right away instead of waiting," he said.
Mingledough had originally signed with Delaware last year as a senior at Archbishop Carroll. But after the Blue Hens ran out of scholarships, he went to Phelps.
Gripper to Manhattan? Abington Friends senior Joey Gripper will sign a scholarship from Manhattan College if he passes the NCAA clearinghouse. If he does not pass, the 6-1 point guard will attend a prep school yet to be determined.