Over the last few years, people would tell Steve Jobe how good his son was going to be.
But to the trained eye of a former college basketball player and coach, the elder Jobe wasn’t so sure. That was before the new trainer, the new AAU program, and a new resolve from his son William. Now? Yep, he sees it, as do a lot of high major college basketball programs.
“If you look at him now compared to where he was last year at this time, you wouldn’t even recognize him,” Steve Jobe told The Daily Hoosier. “He was basically a stand in the corner 3-point shooter.”
After a freshman season playing for Frederica Academy on St. Simons Island, Ga., during which the fast-rising class of 2024 prospect averaged 15 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 5 blocks per game, William was ready to be challenged on the spring and summer circuits. Under the direction of coach Demond Stephens and Team Dickerson, the same AAU program 2022 target Noah Clowney runs with, Jobe immediately began to attract the attention of higher profile college coaches. According to Team Dickerson, Jobe averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks in 15U spring and summer action.
One person intrigued by the 6-foot-9 Jobe was Yasir Rosemond. Now an IU assistant hired by head coach Mike Woodson in April, Rosemond was well known in the Southeast as a trainer, AAU coach and a former college assistant. Even before Indiana hired him, Rosemond had shown interest in Jobe, and once he joined the IU staff, the connection was made.
“The first contact (with Indiana) had been with Yasir,” Steve Jobe said. “He had seen William play early this spring and liked him. That was before he took the Indiana job, and then he kept an eye on William during the summer.”
Truth be told, the connection between Indiana and the Jobe family started long before the spring. Steve Jobe was born and raised in Brookville, Ind. where he starred in high school in the 80s before going on to play college basketball at Wofford. His father, William’s grandfather, played at Milton High School in Indiana and college basketball at Centre College in Kentucky. The family still has deep ties to the state of Indiana, and a longstanding appreciation for the IU program. That’s why when Woodson offered William a scholarship in August, it held special significance.
With three years of high school remaining, William is still very young, still not even to the point where schools can contact him directly. But already both father and son are enjoying the conversations they initiate with the IU staff. As a basketball family, they have developed a respect for the staff in Bloomington.
“He (William) likes talking to them,” Steve said. “Those guys, they know what they are doing.”
What college coaches are seeing is a skilled forward, a likely stretch-four at the next level, and someone who could do much more than just shoot corner threes.
William began training last year with Jessie Fleming, who trains Davion Mitchell, the former Baylor star and 2021 NBA Draft lottery pick. Whereas his father focused mostly on William’s shot-making ability when he was younger, Fleming has taken things to another level.
“Now he is much more agile, mobile, can take it to the basket, he’s developed a jump hook and a Dirk Nowitzki fadeaway,” Steve said. “He’s really good at the pick-and-pop too.”
Of course there is still a long way to go in William’s development, and one area of focus will be for him to realize the physical and athletic potential in his newfound frame.
“The strength thing is something that will need to develop because he is so thin, and he needs to get more explosive,” Steve told The Daily Hoosier. “He grew so fast that he hasn’t been able to put on the weight that he needs yet.”
Joining Indiana in Jobe’s recruitment are Auburn, Xavier, Georgia, and Florida, all of which have also offered, along with several other schools showing interest.
Right now the focus is on development, but down the road the attention will turn to taking a closer look at their college options.
The family gets back up to Indiana twice a year to see family. At some point they hope to do an unofficial visit at IU when they are in the state. It will be a surreal experience for Steve to bring his son back up to Indiana as kid being recruited by one of his home state’s iconic college programs.
But there is also a recognition that after his son’s relatively sudden emergence, this is only the beginning.
“We’re very open,” Steve said. “It’s very early.”
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