Josiah James searching for best fit among final nine colleges


Josiah James plays with TMP during the summer AAU season. 

Josiah James isn't sure off the top of his head how many college offers he has. He surpassed 30 some time ago and has since then lost count. 

Things have become increasingly hectic for the Porter-Gaud rising senior this summer. So to better organize his options, he's trimmed his list of potential suitors down to just nine.  

James, the top-ranked point guard in the nation, will choose from a group that includes: Arizona, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Kansas, Michigan State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. 

“It’s surreal to have all these college coaches wanting me, calling me and telling me how I can help their program. It’s a blessing,” James said. “At first, it was a little overwhelming. I didn’t know this many coaches would be calling me but I’ve learned to deal with it and enjoy it. I thank God. It’s a dream come true and it all only makes me want to work harder.”

Tennessee was the first of the group to recruit James, extending an offer before he entered the ninth grade. Teams like Arizona and Kansas have shown increasing interest in recent months. It’s also worth noting that his father, Kurt James, played for Michigan State in the ‘80s.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s on the West Coast or right down the street. It’s really just about the school that’s the best fit for me, somewhere I can thrive on and off the court,” James said. “I can play any type of style, fast-paced, slow it down, whatever they need me to do. So it’s really just about the best school for me.”

James, a left-handed shooter at 6-foot-6 and 195 pounds, has guided Porter-Gaud to three consecutive state championships the past three years. He helped his AAU team, TMP, to the championship game of the AAU Super Showcase national tournament last summer. He’s already won a gold medal with USA Basketball’s U18 team this summer and will be competing in some of the summer circuit’s largest events during July’s live period.

James has said he plans to commit before his senior season begins in November to allow himself to focus on winning a fourth state championship this winter.

“I’m definitely not rushing into a college commitment anytime soon,” he said. “I’m weighing my options and talking to coaches, taking the process slow.

“It’s going to be hard to pick one school.”

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