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SB Live Player Diary: Mount Si shooting guard Jabe Mullins reflects on college basketball recruiting process

"One thing I’ve learned from this process is that coaches do not just recruit by trying to sell the school as most people think, but they try to build a friendship and relationship with you."

Jabe Mullins is an incoming senior at Mount Si High School. He is the author of a periodical public journal with Scorebook Live Washington, which takes fans behind the scenes of his basketball journey. Follow Jabe on Instagram at @jbmullins5.

Hi, my name is Jabe Mullins. I play basketball at Mount Si High School, and am going into my senior year. I have always dreamed of playing basketball in college at the D1 level, and hold offers from Eastern Washington, Montana, UC Santa Barbara, South Dakota, Dartmouth, Princeton, Colorado State, Oregon State and Washington State. 

For these schools to give me the opportunity feels amazing. 

It all started my freshman year summer. My recruiting process started after a spring tournament at Bellevue College when I was playing for FOH, a year-round Seattle-based AAU program. I played well and received a phone call from Shantay Legans, the head coach at Eastern Washington. He wanted me to go to Cheney for an unofficial visit the next weekend, which means it’s not set up.

This being my first interest, my dad and I went on the visit. I met the staff, got a tour, saw the facilities, and played open gym with the team. Right before we left, coach offered me a scholarship. I was so happy because I had been dreaming of getting an offer for so long. 

The next spring during my sophomore year I was playing with Team Lavine, and had a great tournament down in LA. After our second game against Compton Magic, I got a phone call from Montana’s head coach, Travis Decuire. He told me he loved my game and wanted to offer me a scholarship. I was ecstatic. They go to the NCAA tournament a lot for winning their league and every kids dream is to play in the NCAA tournament.

June 15 of my sophomore year was crazy. That was the day that coaches could text and call players.

I woke up to about 15 text messages from coaches and was really surprised because I didn’t think they really knew me. The coaches just had conversations with me and were trying to build a relationship.

One thing I’ve learned from this process is that coaches do not just recruit by trying to sell the school as most people think, but they try to build a friendship and relationship with you so you can feel comfortable with them and the school. It’s all about the relationship that coaches have with the kid and it plays a huge part into where they make their decision to play college basketball. For me, that’s no different.

After that AAU season that ended in July, I received a phone call from Santa Barbara’s head coach. He said he wanted to offer me a scholarship but would only give it to me if I went on an unofficial. After talking with my coach and my dad I decided to go. It was an awesome campus and they had such great facilities and everything was right on the beach. That following winter, of 2018, I took an official visit to Montana. 

It was a great experience. I was treated like I was the man.

They paid for everything, decorated my hotel room with candy and pictures, and took me out to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I saw their practices, facilities, and they brought me out on the field for the football game. I was very happy I decided to go on the official.

This past spring, I traveled to Dallas for a tournament with my club team. While I was returning, various head and assistant coaches flew out that week to meet with me at my school — more than 15 schools in three days. That is when I received most of my offers. Those kept coming in the following months.

These schools were different. Schools like Oklahoma, Stanford, Utah and Nevada.

In June, I added Oregon State, after playing well at its team camp, which was my first Pac-12 offer. This led up to (June 15), which was hands down the biggest week of recruiting of my life. 

But that’s a story for another week.

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