Why did KU target Robinson-Earl leave Miege? For a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’

By Aaron Reiss areiss@kcstar.com

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has scholarship offers from too many schools to name, and all three high school basketball seasons he’s played for Bishop Miege have ended with Kansas Class 4A Division I state championships. His basketball life is good — but recently he decided it could be better.

At Miege, he said he began to feel “kind of content,” which he didn’t like, so he visited IMG Academy during his spring break and opted to transfer to the sports-focused boarding school in Bradenton, Fla., where he will spend his senior year.

“It’s obviously a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Robinson-Earl told The Star on Wednesday at the Under Armour Challenge AAU tournament here. “If you’ve been down there before, (you know) it’s the best of the best. They’ve got the best facilities. They’ve got the best everything.”

Robinson-Earl — a major Kansas basketball target and the son of former Jayhawk Lester Earl — said IMG’s weight room wowed him when he toured the school’s campus with his mother, Katie Robinson. So did the IMG basketball courts, which the 6-foot-9 post player described as “just insane.” Beyond that, he liked the “competitive spirit” he sensed among other athletes at the school, which has in the past produced KU basketball recruits Silvio De Sousa and Jamari Traylor.

That environment exists at Miege, too, Robinson-Earl said. But there will just be more of it when he plays on a team filled with high-level prospects. And he believes that playing with more talent will help him diversify his skillset.

He said the college coaches recruiting him have told him he’s “more than just the biggest dude on the court,” and he wants to play more often on the perimeter.

“His body is going to change,” said IMG Academy coach Sean McAloon, who watched Robinson-Earl’s KC Run GMC team on Wednesday. “His skills are going to get better, play away from the basket a little bit. He’s not going to be standing in the middle. he’s going to be moving around, playing on the perimeter. I think, in the end, it’ll help get him prepared.”

Robinson-Earl’s next basketball decision will happen at the end of the summer, when he plans to narrow down the list of schools he is considering. He will plan official visits in the fall. For now, he said “like 10 schools” are standing out right now, including Kansas, UCLA, Arizona, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Wake Forest and North Carolina. Though he has a scholarship offer from Missouri, he said he has not recently heard much from the Tigers’ coaching staff.

“A lot of people didn’t recruit me because they think I’m a lock for Kansas, but I always just tell them, you can’t get something if you don’t go after it,” said Robinson-Earl, who played for KU coach Bill Self on the USA Basketball Under-18 national team. “I’m open to everybody. I’m not locked in. I’m just open-minded about everything.”

Rivals’ ninth-ranked recruit in the class of 2019 will move to Florida soon, and he knows his mother will miss him.

“But she wants what’s best for me,” Robinson-Earl said. “So she understands.”

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