With several top prospects moving up the school ranks, Seattle is poised to remain a hoops hotbed
Joshua Smith and Tony Wroten Jr. (above, left to right) aren't the only reasons college recruiters are keeping their eyes on the Emerald City. Gary Bell Jr., a 6'2" junior point guard at Kentridge High in Kent, is a top 75 Rivals.com recruit who "won't wow you with athleticism, but works hard and does everything well," says Daryll Hennings, Bell's coach at Seattle Rotary. So far Bell has offers from Gonzaga and a half-dozen Pac-10 schools. Like Wroten, Brett Kingma, a sharpshooting 6'2" junior at Jackson High in Mill Creek who has several D-I offers, has impressive bloodlines: His mom, Gail Volk Kingma, was a top U.S. marathoner, and his dad, Gregg, was a star guard at Seattle Pacific in the early '80s. His older sister, Kristi, is a starting guard at UW. "Brett can stick it from all over the court," says Friends of Hoop coach Jim Marsh.
The class of 2012 includes the long-limbed Rio Adams, a 6'2" guard who scored 41 points in a win over Nathan Hale High on Feb. 9, and Darien Nelson-Henry, a 6'8" center at Lake Washington High and one of the few highly touted post players in the area. "Darien doesn't realize how much he could dominate if he flexed his muscle a little bit more," says Hennings.
Also on the horizon is D.J. Fenner, a son of former NFL running back Derrick Fenner. An exceptionally quick and strong 6'5" freshman guard, Fenner leads Seattle Prep with 18 points a game.
But no area player has created as much buzz as 14-year-old Allonzo Trier, a 5'8" seventh-grader from Federal Way whom recruiting guru Clark Francis has anointed the best prospect in the class of 2015. Trier, who was the subject of a New York Times Magazine cover story last March, is obsessive about practice, making 450 shots each day. "He's the hardest worker I've ever seen, and he shoots the ball like no other kid in his age group," says Hennings, Trier's former summer coach.