Sunday, March 3, 2013
OU visit impresses three-star SG Booker
By Bob Przybylo
Not every top basketball prospect signed with a school in the fall. Some needed a solid senior season to open up even more eyes.
Case in point is three-star shooting guard Frank Booker (Augusta, Ga./Westside). Booker had some offers heading into his senior season. He didn’t make a decision, believing bigger and better things would be coming his way.
He was right as Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Tennessee have all recently offered. He made his first official visit to OU this weekend, on hand to see the Sooners' impressive 86-69 victory against Iowa State.
“It was a great experience,” Booker said. “It was a great family atmosphere. Those teammates are like brothers with each other. It felt like I had been with them the whole year. I bonded really well with the coaches and the players.”
Booker, who is 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds, had offers from Austin Peay and La Salle, but the scorer has seen his stock rise in recent months.
OU coach Lon Kruger started to take notice of Booker in the last couple of months. And though Booker thought he could get an offer from a school like OU, it still caught him by surprise.
“I know about Coach Kruger’s background and what a great coach he is,” Booker said. “When that OU offer came in, I was taken aback. I just had to sit back and be like ‘wow,’ you know, good things do happen.”
Booker said he had no clue what the environment would be like at OU or in Norman, Okla., but he was happy with the atmosphere.
He was hosted by power forward Ryan Spangler, who is being forced to sit out this season after transferring from Gonzaga. He had a great time with Spangler and the rest of the team, but the thought of committing never entered his mind.
“Not really,” Booker said. “Me and my pops have to talk about things. If I didn’t have any other schools, then yeah, maybe I would have.”
But Booker has options. That’s what happens when you average 28 points, 14 rebounds and five assists per game. He isn’t looking to rush his decision, but he is ready to start seeing some schools.
He said he plans to take an official visit to Texas A&M on Tuesday and then visit Tennessee next weekend. A decision, he said, could come in the next few weeks.
“It’s not just about basketball, though,” Booker said. “I have to fit in at the school and have to find a good fit for academics. I’m looking to go into the health and sciences field.”
Booker has been known throughout his high school career as a pure shooter. He said he made big strides this season to develop a more all-around game. He didn’t hesitate in saying the biggest improvement he made this season was with his dribbling.
OU couldn’t have done anything more on the visit, and Booker said it was good to see the young guys in action.
“That was great because it showed I can have a good chance of coming in and playing immediately,” he said. “But it’s not just about that, it’s also about improving as a person, and that’s something I’m confident I can do at OU if I go there.”
Booker said he didn’t have a dream school growing up. He simply loves basketball. Along with the Sooners, Aggies and Vols, Booker said he is considering a visit to Auburn, but that hasn’t been finalized.