By TOBIAS BASS
Class of 2022 forward Trae Clayton was one bright stars at the Under Armour Session and the summer live evaluation period.
The 6-foot-5, 180 pound forward from Lewisville (TX) played at the UAA sessions and has several schools calling him.
“The schools that haven’t offered that reached out been Oklahoma State, Florida State, LA Tech, Georgia Tech, Old Dominion, Northern Colorado, Western Michigan and Auburn.”
Going into his final AAU season, Clayton wanted to display defensive versatility and leadership.
“What I fell like I showcased this summer is being a leader to my teammates and able to transition to a 2 – 3 spot,” he said. I showcased a lot of my ball handling and being able to defend 1-5 and also making my pull up jumper consistently. I can shoot the ball not only from 12-15 feet, but also improved my 3-point shot.”
This summer Clayton played for Dallas Showtyme that featured several division one prospects. The Lewisville (TX) native reflects on his summer with teammates and what his coach means to him.
“Playing with Showtyme has been nothing but a blessing. Big E coached both of my cousins and it’s was only right to come over and play with the family.
Having the chance to finally play with Arterio (Morris) and Chauncey (Gibson) after so many years it’s was very fun probably the most fun I’ve had in AAU in a long time. Been wanting to play with Arterio since 9th grade because he is a dawg and I finally got that and we clicked instantly.
Chauncey I been playin with since bout 5th grade so we already naturally clicked when we both got on the court. I really like how he carry his self and have that “ I don’t care let’s hoop” attitude.
As for Jason (Thirdkill) I remember meeting him at a camp when we played against each other and this guys is a straight animal.. gets every board , blocks shots . Can finish through almost anything and can knock down open shots.
The rest of the guys like Dallas Smith and Dorien Goodman help me understand that the game of basketball is all about pace and slowing the game down makes it way easier than making it hard.”
“The impact Big E (Erven Davis) had on me really made me a better person and player . Really made me see things that are gonna be like in college . Like i said he coached my cousins back when they played AAU. Really enjoyed my team being coach by him. He helped me understand certain things about this game in a short period of time and I really appreciate him for giving me this opportunity to come in and work and prepare myself for the outside world . Absolutely loved it.”
So far Clayton hasn’t scheduled any visits but will visit Nebraska, Seton Hall, and Clemson.
He breaks down each school:
SMU: “They said they really liked my game and how tough I am and how aggressive I play and I really like the academic there too one of my friends that go to SMU tell me they help you for life after college!”
Lafayette: “I’ve talked to Coach Josten Crow a while back before he went over to LA Tech. He came off very cool and excited. What I really like was that my mom is to go to school in Lafayette so I was interested from the jump.”
New Mexico: “Coach Ralph Davis (former New Mexico assistant) was honestly my favorite conversation. So much energy and showed he believe in me from the start.”
Nebraska: “I Really liked Head Coach Fred Hoiberg and Coach Matt Abdelmassih. They showed me and my mom how I would adjust to there system and also showed me how I’ll be able to develop as a whole within my years of being there. I really got to see where I would fit and how I would’ve been a main piece of the team!”
Mississippi State: “I really like Coach Ernie Zeigler my dad was surprisingly a big fan of him when he was at UCLA and he was one of the first coaches to actually start to recruit me back when I was a 8th grader!”
Texas A&M: “I have a great relationship with Head Coach Buzz Williams and Lyle Wolf. I love coach buzz dedication and intensity.”
TCU: “Been knowing coach Tony Benford since his LSU days. He coached my two cousins back around 2011- 2015 really like his coaching style
and Head Coach Jamie Dixon I remember goin to his camp back in my 8th grade summer. I like how he’s very vital on player development with his guys!”
UIC: “When coach Rod Clark (former UIC coach) was at UIC we had a pretty strong relationship until he left. But even now with coach Dee Brown I caught I real good vibe with him. I feel like he really believes I can come in a dominant and also develop in the areas I lack in.”
As his decision date comes closer, he values trust in the program of his choosing.
“I would like for the coach to be able to trust me during tough times to make the right play or lead the team out of a slump of whatever the case maybe. Also to be able to have a coaching staff I can trust that will help me in areas to reach my goals Outside of basketball and just the college by itself, I would like to go to a college that has my major and a college.”
Going into his senior season Clayton would like to win another state championship with his new school (Kimball High School) and get better before he goes to college.
“I just want to work hard and be the best Trae I can be. Believe in myself and put the work in! For team goal I really just wanna win another state championship with my team and build a strong bond with everyone on my team and really watch them succeed in whatever they do after high school.”