basketball Edit

Five-star junior Cunningham stays mum on the recruiting process

Cade Cunningham is fine talking about pretty much anything other than offers.
Jon Lopez/Nike @NikeEYB

You can ask five-star rising junior Cade Cunningham about anything and he's going to give you an honest, in-depth answer. For example, ask him about his game and he'll tell you that he thinks he's at his best when he's sharing the ball and serving his teammates.

"I think just making plays for others is one of my strengths," he said at NBPA Top 100 Camp recently. "I think I'm a good rebounder, I pass the ball really well, and I can score it whenever I need to. I really like just making plays other people."

Where the normally engaging Lone Star State native, No. 14 overall in his class at this point, isn't going to comply is when it comes to recruiting.

"I actually do not announce any of my offers," he explained. "I mean, a lot of people just do it for like followers and stuff. I just don't. I don't really pay attention to it right now."

So, is it safe to say he's getting interest?

"Enough," he said with a laugh. "My phone's ringing."

A 6-foot-5 guard with good size, a physical frame, and plenty of athleticism, don't let his lack of interest in the recruiting circus be any indication that he's not knee deep in it.

"It's definitely, like, overwhelming," he said. "Just hearing from so many big-time coaches. It's overwhelming, like hearing from certain people, but I think it's a lot more than I expected it to be. I didn't know I'd be busy like this or anything like that."

So is it overwhelming because of the amount of contact he's now getting or because it's finally time for it to all get real?

"I think it's a little bit of both," Cunningham explained, "because when I was younger, I wasn't one of the better players. But now that I've started coming up, I started getting a lot better and to be recruited so heavily, it's just crazy still."

Ask him about getting his first offer and the Arlington (TX) Bowie standout will at least give you something to work with.

"The coach came to my school," Cunningham recalled, "and we had Kyler Edwards, who went to Findlay Prep last year, he was a four-star so I just knew for sure they were coming for him. And then they came straight to me and said 'You know this school would like to offer you a scholarship.' It was just crazy. I called my pops like immediately and then my mom. It's just crazy to really think that you're in that position."

Despite his self-imposed gag order, though, the recruiting process will move on and Cunningham is very aware of that reality. So what's he looking for in a future home?

"Somewhere where I can really play my game," he said. "Just somewhere I can play my game and I know that I'm in a comfortable spot with the coach and the coaches [are] criticizing me and telling me what I need to do but he's also you know what I'm saying, like not snatching me right after [mistakes]. I just need a good fit. I just need a good fit."

This summer, he also has goals for ways he wants to improve.

"Definitely my jump shot," he said. "Working on that a lot. Tightening up my ball handling and a lot of athleticism stuff."

He promises that he won't give recruiting the silent treatment forever.

"I do know that once I figure it out, I will announce it," Cunningham said. "I won't wait once I do figure it out. But I don't think I'm close to that decision right now."

That day during camp, though he wouldn't confirm or deny that UVa had offered he did say that his parents had taken some time to go speak with Tony Bennett and Co.

"My parents took a tour today with the coaching staff," he said as the smile crept across his face. "But I mean, like I said, I'm not going to really get into it."

"They don't say anything," he added, "and they love it. They're glad I'm not really announcing things."


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