Q/A with 2022 four-star Jeremiah Nyarko
Tell me about where you grew up.
I grew up in Ghana, that was my home for much of my life before moving here to the United States. I played soccer as a child and didn’t actually start playing basketball until age 15.
Was basketball always a priority in your household? Who put the ball in your hands?
Basketball actually wasn’t a priority in my household. I played soccer throughout my childhood and didn’t start playing basketball until I was 15 years old. Coach Mike is actually the reason I started playing basketball and really the reason I am here today.
When did you start taking the sport seriously?
I started taking the sport seriously when some friends of mine from Ghana encouraged me to start playing. They noticed that I had serious potential in the sport of basketball and Coach Mike helped me take my game to the next level.
Any family members/relatives that played college/pro sports?
I don’t have any family members that play professional sports. I am the first in my family with the goal of doing so. I am also the first in my family to play basketball.
Describe your game in a sentence or two.
On the court, I am versatile, composed, confident, and focused. I see the floor very well, dominate the paint, and shoot well from deep.
What does the game of basketball mean to you? In other words, why does it mean so much to you?
Basketball means so much to me as I don’t just see it as a game, but rather a lifestyle. There is more to it than simply getting a ball in a hoop, it’s about creating a legacy, inspiring those around me that they are capable of accomplishing whatever it is they set their minds to, and becoming the best possible version of myself, not only as an athlete but as a man. I want to go back to Ghana one day, to take care of my loved ones and support the community.
How do you feel about your current ranking?
My current ranking is good but it is not great yet, I still have so much potential to grow and strive to become an even better player, teammate, and leader. There is always something to improve so I have to keep grinding and working hard each day to improve my game.
Tell me your general thoughts on rankings. Do they matter? If so, how much do they matter in the whole scheme of things?
Rankings don’t mean too much to me because there is always room for improvement. When a person is ranked as #1, that doesn’t mean they are perfect, there will always be something to change or do differently to make oneself even better. Personally, rankings don’t mean much to me, I can’t just be satisfied with my game because I have a high ranking, I find satisfaction with growth and progression.
Do you have a current list of schools you’re focused on?
I have received many offers but I am not focused on any particular schools quite yet, I’d like to keep my options open. I know great things are coming soon and I am looking forward to taking my talent to the next level.
What schools reach out to you the most?
Some of the schools that have reached out to me include USC, UCLA, San Diego State, Cal Poly, Stanford, Arizona State, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, Washington State, Notre Dame, and Howard University.
During the recruiting process, does it make a difference how often the head coach reaches out to you (texts/calls)? Does it make you feel that much of a priority?
It definitely makes a difference when the head coach reaches out and checks up on me often. It shows me that they care about me as an individual, and not just a recruit. I really appreciate that.
What advice would you give to a college coach in order to do an effective way of recruiting you in the “COVID era”? Any tips or pointers for them to stand out amongst all the other coaches in your phone?
The pandemic has been difficult for everyone and has forced us to do a lot of things virtually. I appreciate when coaches message me or call me to check up and see how I am doing during these times. Zoom meetings with coaches has become a new reality because of COVID as well. Those are a few simple things but they do make a big difference on the relationship between myself and coaches.
Do you have someone to guide you through the recruiting process and show you the ropes? If so, who is that person and what advice have they given you?
My AAU, Dream Vision coaches, Coach James and Coach Clayton, have been helping me a lot during the recruiting process and really showing me the ropes. They have advised me to focus on getting better and that I don’t need an offer from every school in the world to make me feel like I am a great player. I don’t have to work to impress anybody else, just work hard and do what I feel is best for me.
What is something you’ve already learned about the recruiting process that you would share with a younger brother/teammate?
The recruiting process is exciting and full of blessings. After years of hard work, dedication, blood, sweat, and tears it really all comes together during the recruiting process when offers start coming in. The sacrifices made are just that much more worth it.
What schools have you visited so far, either unofficially or officially?
I haven’t been able to visit many schools because of the Coronavirus pandemic but I have visited UCLA, San Diego State, and USC.
Are there any schools that are currently recruiting you that have not yet offered that you expect to offer you sometime in the near future?
I am still waiting to hear from Arizona State, UC Santa Barbara, Saint Mary’s, Stanford, Washington State, and Notre Dame. There is still time in the recruiting process so I am looking forward to hearing from them soon.
Name a few schools that aren’t recruiting you at all, that you would like to receive an offer from sometime in the future.
I have not yet heard from Illinois, North Carolina, Michigan State, Gonzaga, and The University of Texas, but would love to in the future.
Is building a stacked recruiting class, and bringing top talent in with you a priority?
I definitely would like to be surrounded by talent because I want my teammates to challenge me and push me to become even better. It is important to be challenged otherwise I will not grow as a basketball player.
Did you have a dream school growing up?
I don’t have a dream school but I just want a school that will be good for me, help me grow, and make me a better person.
Let’s flash forward a few years. You get your first NBA paycheck. What’s the first three things you buy?
When I receive my first NBA paycheck the first thing I will do is give money to the church. The second thing I will do is make sure my family back home has money to take care of themselves and I will pay for my relatives to go to school to receive an education. I want to take care of those who took care of me during my lifetime. Lastly, I will buy a home with a gym for myself so I can workout and continue to train.