On June 15, Pitt will be hosting Cleveland native Elmore James on an unofficial visit, he told Pittsburgh Sports Now.
“I am just excited to see how it is for myself,” James told PSN. “Certainly, I have heard a lot of good things about it, but I am just glad to finally get down there myself and see if for myself.”
James, a member of the class of 2022, is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound combo guard from Cleveland, Ohio who plays his high school ball for Brush High School, the same school that produced Pitt center John Hugley.
“He told me how things like conditioning go, how summer workouts there go, and things like that,” James said about his conversations with Hugley about Pitt. “He just says how he likes it a lot there.”
James will be going on the visit with his head coach at Brush, Chet Mason, who is a member of the Hall of Fame at Miami University for his four-year career as a player there. He went on to play 12 years of professional ball and now coaches a Brush program that is loaded with talent year in and year out.
James is one of the toughest players in the class and is a true bulldog on the court. He bullies defenders while driving and is highly skilled in finishing through contact. He also prides himself on his defense, and says that this year, he improved his outside game as well.
“I would say getting downhill is definitely my biggest offensive strength,” he said. “Also, I feel like my defense is another thing that separates me from a lot of players, too. I have also improved my shooting ability a lot, this year especially. I hit a lot of threes during the season.”
James himself is unranked on recruiting sites, but is receiving plenty of Division I offers and interest. At the moment, he said, he is being recruited the most by St. Johns, Pitt, Butler, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. He is currently working on scheduling a visit to Butler, as well as one to Ohio University.
“The biggest thing I am looking forward to is growing up on and off the court as a person, period,” he said about narrowing down his list. “Just finding somewhere that I can fit in, and somewhere where it is going to be a brotherhood, similar to my high school.”
While the schools on his list come from all over the country, he said he is very familiar with the ACC, not only due to his connection with Hugley but also a family connection.
“I am actually very familiar with the ACC because my cousin, Derek Funderburk, just had his last year at NC State,” he said. “I am very familiar with the conference. Also, my former teammate John goes to Pitt currently right now too, so, I actually like the conference a lot and I like to watch their games.”
Although he does not hold an offer yet from Pitt, he is looking forward to potentially receiving one after touring the school and getting to know the staff more.
“It would definitely mean a lot to me,” he said about a Pitt offer. “I would very happy to receive a big offer like that because I know how big time of a school they are. And also, everybody knows the ACC is a big-time conference. I would be very happy and blessed to receive an offer like that.”