Cavs, Hokies Eyeing Hargrave Prospect

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(This update was originally posted on 9/11/03.)

Hargrave Military Academy power forward Emanuel Willis has enjoyed a busy week according to Hargrave Post-Grad basketball head coach Kevin Keatts.

Schools from all over the country have stopped by the Chatham, VA school to visit with the high-flying post player.

“Pete Gillen stopped by earlier this week, and Seth Greenberg is supposed to come by this week as well,” said Keatts, who took over as Hargrave head coach in 2001 after a serving as a Marshall assistant coach. “They are both very interested in Emanuel. Schools from everywhere have stopped by this week. Cincinnati, Penn State, Butler, Alabama, Southern California, NC State, and I think Ole Miss is supposed to come as well. He’s been offered by everybody.”

Willis is a 6-7 1/2, 215 pound prospect with great athleticism. If he extends the range on his jump shot, he has the potential to become a small forward on the next level.

“People compare him to Kenyon Martin, because of his game and because he looks like him,” said Keatts. “He has a 40″ vertical leap. He’s great around the basket with nice post moves. Emanuel can step out to 15 and hit the jumper. He’s a power forward for us, but one day he could develop into a small forward. He’s got some things to work on, but he has all the tools.”

Originally from Mendenhall HS in Mendenhall, Mississippi, Willis transferred to Hargrave following his senior year. He signed with Southern Mississippi last year but has re-opened his recruiting and is currently wide open.

Location may not be a big factor when he makes his decision.

“Once you leave home and go into a new environment, I think you become more open to going to school away from home,” said Keatts. “Not to say location will not be a factor for him down the road, but I do know he is wide open now. He’s open to talking to everybody.”

As a senior at Mendenhall, Willis averaged aroung 15 points per game. Look for him to be one of the most highly recruited prospects out of Hargrave this season.