By OLIVIA PREWITT
DeAndre Ayton, right, at Pulaski county. (Caleb Lowndes/CJ Correspondent)
SOMERSET — Pulaski County High School hosted the “Don Marshall RAM ‘E’ Classic” this weekend. While attending this afternoon’s session, I got the chance to watch some of nation’s best 2016 and 2017 prospects.
One was DeAndre Ayton of Hillcrest Academy in Arizona. He is being pursued by numerous college basketball programs and has recently released his top three — Kentucky, Kansas, and Duke (no order.)
I really enjoyed watching him play today and was very impressed with the positivity he kept throughout the game. Every time he came out, there wasn’t anything negative about him. He sat on the bench and motivated his team the entire time. I loved watching his passion for the game.
After his team’s win, I got to ask him a few questions before he signed autographs for fans.
Question: You’re ESPN’s #1 ranked player for the class of 2017, how does that feel, knowing that?
Ayton: “AH! It feels great. There’s a lot resting on my shoulders but that’s what motivates me the most. It keeps me up and aware of the fact I still have to keep working to maintain my spot.”
Question: What does it mean to you that you have offers from some of the most elite programs in all of college basketball?
Ayton: “It’s another motivation to keep me going, I want more to come and a lot more love! I like that. I love attention especially receiving it for doing what I love, its fun!”
Question: What would you recommend to young athletes who hope to be in your shoes one day?
Ayton: “It takes a ton of hard work and dedication, you gotta be ready for that. You gotta fight through every trial and tribulation that comes your way.”