Efton Reid gets an in-home visit from Kentucky
As the fall rolls on, and it gets closer and closer to the beginning of the 2019-20 season, Kentucky's coaches are still out on the road reinforcing their interest with the older recruits while making introductions to newer ones.
Put Efton Reid in the latter group. The four-star center from Richmond, Virginia is ranked No. 34 in the 2021 Class by Rivals. He is now getting blue blooded interest from the likes of Kentucky, North Carolina, and Duke. Reid told us he has over twenty offers which he will go public with at a later time, but Florida, Rutgers, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Virginia Commonwealth are just a few that are believed to have offered.
Eric Bossi watched Reid several times over the summer and assessed that Reid has a big body at 7-foot-0, 235 pounds, and and a skill set to match.
"While he is not the quickest or most explosive of big men around, Reid hits the mark with his diverse package of skills. He repeatedly scored off counters in the post, hit a few pick-and-pop jumpers to the perimeter and showed that he can do some damage in the open floor."
Reid doesn't talk a lot about his recruitment so Cats Illustrated is grateful to him for chatting with us on Wednesday night shortly after Kentucky came in to see him.
Q: We hear that Kentucky came to see you tonight. Which coach came and what happened?
Reid: "Coach (Joel) Justus came to see me. He wanted to get to know me and tell me a little bit about the program, and what Kentucky Basketball does with their players. He said it's not about basketball, it's about family more than basketball. He talked about dreams, and he said once you have a dream it becomes our dream too when you come to our program. I thought that was really impactful. That was really, really good that he said that, because it means he really cares about his players a lot."
Q: How long have they been recruiting you? Is it something that has been going on for awhile or is it something that just started recently?
Reid: "This is my first visit. This is the first time they have come to visit me. This is the first time I have come in contact with them.
Q: Did Coach Justus call and ask if he could come up and see you?
Reid: "He called my high school coach (Curt Kassab at The Steward School)."
Q: Where do you think they saw you play before?
Reid: "He said he first saw me with Team Loaded 15U two years ago in New York at the Adidas Gauntlet. He has followed me for awhile."
Q: What goes through your mind when you hear Kentucky Basketball?
Reid: "When I think of Kentucky Basketball, I think of one and done's, and I think of Coach Cal's historic coaching record, and what he's done for his players. Just the whole program itself is a really good program. They develop their guys and get their guys ready for the next level. That's what I think of."
Q: Were you excited when you heard Kentucky was coming by to see you?
Reid: "Oh yeah, I was very excited."
Q: How did Coach Justus say their recruitment and interest would build from here?
Reid: "He said that we are going to stay in contact. He's going to continue recruiting me."
Q: Is there a chance you might go over to Lexington in the fall or the winter for an unofficial visit?
Reid: "I don't really know right now because I have to look at my mom's work schedule and my basketball schedule. So I don't know."
Q: For those who have not seen you play, describe yourself as a player.
Reid: "I can bang inside and I can step out and shoot the three ball. I'm very versatile and very mobile as a player. I can play inside-out, and I'm a good rebounder. I just like to make my other teammates better."
Q: Do you consider yourself like an old school big man or a new age type?
Reid: "Yes, because I'm very versatile. I can play inside and block some shots, and I can step outside to the perimeter and hit a couple of threes."
Q: Do you know who all has offered you right now?
Reid: "I know who has offered me, but my family and I don't talk about it really. I'll come out with all of my offers soon. I know that you know Virginia and Rutgers have offered me, but I have over twenty offers for now."
Q: What has it been like to receive all of the recruiting attention? Is it a hassle or is it something you enjoy?
Reid: "It's something I've worked for. I've worked for this basically. I'm really happy that I'm getting this recognition. I'm excited."
Q: Living in Richmond, and Virginia winning the National Championship and then recruiting and offering you, is that something you were excited about?
Reid: "Yes and no. I always like to see the home state win, and at the same time I'm happy to see Virginia win the National Championship. It was a really good moment for them how they lost to the sixteenth seed and came back the next year and won. It really shows resilience, basically. I was really happy to see that, because you never want to see a team struggle and struggle. You want to see them struggle and then win a National Championship, so that was really good."
Q: I can tell from speaking with you that you are an incredibly intelligent young man. How important is the educational aspect of it?
Reid: "The educational part is really important to me because my mom has always told me since I was young boy that I was going to college no matter what you do. It's just a very important piece for me and her because the ball is going to stop bouncing at some point, so if I get blessed with the opportunity ro play at the next level in the NBA and make millions of dollars, after the ball stops bouncing I want to fall back on my degree and continue to do what I want to do in life."