The in-state class of 2023 isn’t particularly deep when it comes to high major college basketball prospects, but there are a few intriguing talents at the top with others likely to separate themselves this spring and summer.
One of the more recent to emerge is Cathedral High School (Indianapolis, Ind.) forward Xavier Booker. The 6-foot-11 Booker has made a name for himself this spring playing for the George Hill All Indy AAU program.
Booker has already had a conversation with new Indiana head coach Mike Woodson, and he appears to be a class of 2023 player on a trajectory to see a wave of prominent college offers. LSU and Kansas State were the first of what is likely to be a long list of high major suitors.
“The thing that really stands out to college coaches is his length,” Cathedral head coach Jason Delaney told The Daily Hoosier about Booker. “He’s so long and he’s able to block shots and get different places on the court, and he’s able to elevate over other people because he’s got that length.”
Despite his length, Booker is comfortable playing in transition and on the perimeter. He adds an impressive left-handed jump shot to his repertoire, something that makes him all the more appealing to college coaches.
“The other thing is his shooting. He can knock down an open jumper from the outside,” Delaney said. “The taller you are, the more things you can do, the more attractive you become to college coaches.”
The impact of Booker’s length is obvious on film. Delaney said he is a legit 6-foot-11, and he couples that with enough athleticism and shooting ability to be unstoppable at times against high school competition.
The next challenge will be for Booker to develop his body and refine his game to better prepare him for what appears to be a lengthy basketball career.
“He’s going to have get stronger to be able to take the wear and tear of going against more physical players and be more college ready,” Delaney said. “And also just continuing to work on the details of the game, such as being able to come off some screens, being able to do more things off the dribble, those type of things.”
Already with that impressive jump shot with two years of high school remaining, Booker projects as a stretch-four type of player in college, and his length would make him a potential matchup nightmare in that role.
Booker has been eased into his high school career on a talented Cathedral team. He played just 8.9 minutes per game and averaged 4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per contest as a sophomore. But on a per-32 minute basis those numbers would translate to 14.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game. And the early returns from Booker’s spring suggest that kind of junior season is likely.
— Courtside Films (@CourtsideFilms) April 7, 2021
— Courtside Films (@CourtsideFilms) April 13, 2021
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