Archive for December, 2011
After decommitting in March of 2010, Huntington Prep (W.Va.) forward Elijah Macon made it official a few weeks ago that he would, in fact, be attending West Virginia next year to play basketball for head coach Bob Huggins.
“I’m very relieved so I can start focusing more on school and just getting better for when I do get to West Virginia so I can come right in and contribute,” Macon said. “Now I’m just focusing on getting better and getting in better shape.”
Macon, the No. 44 player in the class of 2012 according to ESPNU, was considering Louisville, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Kansas State after opening his recruitment back up. But in the end his final decision went back to the struggles he had early in his high school career.
Following his sophomore year, Macon’s grade point average had dropped below a 2.0 and, thanks to that, a lot of teams began to slowly quit pursuing him because of the risk involved in offering someone with academic concerns.
West Virginia was the one school that stuck around the whole time.
“It was big that they stayed around and still wanted me even though my grades were messed up,” Macon said. “The fact that they stayed around and didn’t leave like some other schools did, that really gave them some big bonus points.
“Plus when I was on campus for my visit, it just felt like home. I felt like I was wanted.”
Macon said all of his academic troubles are behind him now though after taking summer classes his junior year while he was still enrolled at Marion Franklin High School in Ohio.
The 6-foot-8 forward is currently in his first season in Huntington where he’s getting to play alongside of some of the most talented players in the country, including Missouri signees Stefan Jankovic and Negus Webster-Chan. He feels that elevated competition is going to help his game tremendously once he gets to Morgantown and begins playing at the college level.
“It’s obviously a privilege to be here and I’m just taking full advantage of it to where I can come down here and make myself a way better player than I was before I got here,” Macon said. “Competing against those guys is definitely going to make me better because there’s no slacking off in practice. You have to compete all the time.”
Of course, Macon admits one of the biggest factors in making his decision to be a Mountaineer was getting the chance to play for Huggins, who is the fourth-winningest active coach in the country.
Getting to play for a coach with the track record of West Virginia’s head man will give him a way to continue getting better and achieving his goal of one day making it to the NBA.
“I know he’ll turn me into a pro,” Macon said of Huggins. “When I get there I’m going to work really hard to get to my dream and me going with him and knowing what he can do for me, it’s just really exciting.”