By LARRY VAUGHT
Saturday he got to go against 7-3 Bol Bol, one of the top players in the 2018 recruiting class. Sunday he will face James Wiseman, the No. 1 player in the 2019 recruiting class.
However, don’t think Aspire Academy junior Charles Bassey is complaining. The 6-9 Bassey is a top 10 player himself and relishes playing against the best.
“At the next level that is the guys you are going to play against all the time. Big guys, talented guys. At the next level I will see that size all the time. I learn from this and get ready,” Bassey said after finishing with 16 points, 13 rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals in the 56-53 loss to Findlay Prep (Bol had 14 points, four rebounds, three blocks). “I think I am playing more physical. I get in the gym and work hard and go to the weight room and get stronger to help my team.
“We came into this week focused. We lost today but we played better. Tomorrow is going to be a great game. I just have to get ready. Just get my team right.”
Bassey knows numerous coaches, including Western Kentucky coach Rick Stansbury who has recruited Bassey harder than anyone else, will be at Sunday’s game. Kentucky coach John Calipari could well be there to watch Wiseman.
“I just pay attention to my teammates and who I am playing against and nothing else. I just want to do everything I can to win. I don’t worry about what coaches are at the game,” Bassey said.
He played against Wiseman last spring in the Underclassmen All-America Game and had 35 points, 20 rebounds and six blocked shots. Wiseman had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Both were named the most valuable player on their team.
“Wiseman can shoot the ball. He pops out and shoots. He posts good. He is a really good player,” Bassey said. “I have to go against him hard and be strong every time. They have a really good team. It will be physical, so I have to play strong. But I am definitely looking forward to the challenge.”