Six months ago, when Brandin Podziemski learned that his first year competing in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League wasn’t going to happen due to COVID-19, his disappointment didn’t let him lose sight of his ultimate goal.
“I felt like this summer was gonna be my breakout summer,” Podziemski said. “When I couldn’t play, I just kept working so I would be ready when the time came.”
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The tunnel-vision approach worked; since dominating late summer/fall events, Podziemski has picked up offers from Kentucky and Kansas.
There are other high major schools heavily involved with Podziemski, but he said he doesn’t name schools who haven’t offered.
Prior to August, Podziemski had offers from Wisconsin-Milwaukee, DePaul, Arizona State, Marquette, Rice, Loyola-Chicago, Boise State and Kansas State.
“It’s cool that things have picked up with my recruitment, but I just keep doing the same thing I always do,” Podziemski said. “It just makes me want to work.”
Last season at St. John's Northwestern Academies (Delafield, Wisc.), Podziemski averaged 28 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Currently, he’s averaging 30 points a game in the NY2LA Top 40 league.
On Tuesday night, Podziemski scored 52 points, going 22 of 24 from the field, including 8 of 9 from the 3-point line. He also posted 10 rebounds and five assists.
Puts into perspective why Podziemski has drawn comparisons to Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro; both are 6-foot-5 guards with limitless range, playmaking ability and the confidence that accompanies boasting that skill set.
Podziemski joined Herro’s travel team this summer and has begun to build a relationship with him as a result.
“I feel like we play alike, but I’m me and he’s him; I try to be myself,” Podziemski said. “I’m Brandin, and I want to make my own story.”
That mentality extends to his recruitment; Podziemski said, while Herro gives him advice on things, he’s not pushing him to Lexington.
Herro averaged 14 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists as a freshman at Kentucky before going on to be the No. 13 pick in the 2019 NBA draft.
This past season, Herro averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists a game for the Heat.
“He doesn’t try to sway my opinion one way or the other,” Podziemski said. “He gives me general advice and knows that I’m gonna choose what’s best for me. With my recruitment, my circle and I are just going over things and taking our time with everything. I don’t really have a timeline.”
In terms of systems, Podziemski said what’s best for him is an uptempo, NBA style that allows him to use the full repertoire of his arsenal on both ends of the floor.
“I hate when people just label me a shooter,” Podziemski said. “There are so many other things I can do. I think the thing that separates me is my defense. I love it. I love seeing a small number for the other team. Defense creates easy opportunities offensively. I really buy-in defensively and want to be in a system like that. I’m just taking my time to see what’s best.”