The M.J. Rice Blog: Rehabbing Knee, Oak Hill, Recruitment, Pop Smoke and More

M.J. Rice

M.J. Rice is an elite shooting guard in the 2022 class who combines elite athleticism, brute strength and scoring ability on all three levels. Last season, Rice was pumping in 25 points, nine rebounds and two assists a game for Durham (N.C.) Academy before tearing his ACL in December. That production has everyone from Duke to Kentucky to Louisville to Texas Tech to Pittsburgh, among many others, all in hot pursuit. Now at Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), Rice has agreed to give SI All-American exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from his road back to recovery to intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a blog.

What’s up world, it’s M.J. Rice back at you with another blog!

Things are cool for me right now; I’m still working on my knee and trying to get stronger every day. The progress is looking good.

I’m back to running and jumping now and my physical therapist told me that my knee is completely healed. Now, it’s all about getting it back stronger than it ever was before. I have shootarounds Mondays and Wednesdays and on the other days I’m doing core stuff.

Next week I’ll have my first real test to see where I’m at. If I pass, I’ll get to move to the phase of cutting and things like that; just more basketball-related drills so I’m excited about doing that test!

I really feel like the summer is flying by!

I feel like I just had surgery yesterday and in reality it’s been six months!

I report to Oak Hill on August 23. I’m really excited to get down there to learn from the legend Coach (Steve) Smith and the other coaches. 

I think we can have a special team this season. We’ve got Dior (Johnson) and Zion (Cruz) and a couple of other big pieces coming too. We were already tight, but now we’re building an even stronger brotherhood as teammates.

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I feel like we already compliment each other well on the court; we’re all dogs!

I see a lot of people already talking about next season and who they think can win it all; I see we’re the underdogs and I love that.

I love what we’re building at Oak Hill and I think we’re gonna shock the world!

I know people haven’t seen me in a while, but I can’t even imagine what I’ll be like at 100 percent. Right now, I think I’m at 50 percent and I’m a lot stronger than I even thought I’d be. Being at 100 is gonna be scary.

I’m just ready to get out there and get to work with them. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back out there full time, but who knows anyway with this virus going around.

Right now, when I’m in the gym I make sure to stay safe so I’m usually the only one in there.

Other than that, I’m home.

My recruitment has picked up a lot since June 15 when the coaches started calling. I’m building closer bonds with the coaches just getting to know them better.

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I’ve heard from Clemson, Winthrop, Pitt, Duke, Louisville, Indiana, Providence, Iowa, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Wake Forest, N.C. State and a few more.

It’s cool just being able to talk to them about whatever, it’s not to the point where it’s too much.

Other than that, I’ve just been enjoying spending time with my family. I know that this is a blessing because I’m always on the road most of the time with basketball.

I know when all of this is over I’ll be right back out there traveling so I’m taking the time to have fun with the people closest to me.

Musically, ain’t nothing changed; I’m still listening to my R&B and then I’ll rock out to a little Tupac, Dre and Snoop… Guys like that.

I really like “Zoo York” with Pop Smoke and Lil TJay. I’m loving Pop Smoke’s new album too, so check that out if you haven’t already.

OK, guys I’ve gotta get out of here right now, but thanks for tuning in and check back soon for my next entry.

Stay safe out there.

Don’t forget to follow M.J. Rice:

Twitter: @MJrice_1

Instagram: mjrice2