At the end of his junior season, Starkville (Miss.) High School center Gavin Ware didn't have much to cheer about in the postseason. The 6-foot-8 and 240-pound Ware missed the majority of his team's run to the Class 6A state tournament and saw his teammates fall in the semi-finals.
But early on this summer, Ware and his AAU teammates have tasted much success. Playing with the Southern Phenoms, Ware and company captured the AAU state crown and over the weekend, they hoisted another title in a prestigious event.
"We've done well so far," said Ware, who averaged 19 points, 10.5 rebounds and five blocked shots last year. "It was good to win the state and we played some good teams. It was even better that we got to beat our rivals in that championship game.
"Then last weekend we won the Bob Gibbons Tournament in North Carolina. We faced some great elite teams and played against Michael Frazier of Florida Elite and some other great players. We beat two teams (by the mercy rule - up by 20 with four minutes to play) and we are there with the best of the best."
And his the Bob Gibbons' event, Ware was among the best on the boards.
"This summer has helped my game a lot and I am getting a lot more rebounds," said Ware. "At the Bob Gibbons' tournament, I averaged over 20 rebounds a game. I wasn't getting many points but I was doing my job on the glass."
On the recruiting scene, Ware said he hasn't picked up any new offers of late due to the current dead period in basketball. But he believes that will change in the near future.
"I don't have any new offers lately that I know of," said Ware. "But the same schools that offered me are showing a lot of interest like Mississippi State, Georgetown, Alabama, Ole Miss and Missouri. Most of the SEC has offered me or I believe they will offer me soon once I can meet with their coaches."
Ware is currently teammates on the AAU circuit with another highly-recruited Magnolia State product - Kemper County's Devonta Pollard. It has been reported elsewhere that the two prospects may play in college together but Ware said it is about finding the right fit for each player.
"We do hang out a lot and hang out over the holidays with each other," said Ware of Pollard. "We talk about and obviously hang out a lot in the summer since we are on the same team. We do talk about recruiting and schools. But anything could happen and his plans could be different than my plans. We have to find the right fit for ourselves and see how that goes."
And more on his eventual college decision, Ware said he still plans to sign with a school in the late signing period, which starts in April of 2012.
"I will probably make a commitment after my senior year in January or February," said Ware. "I know the early signing period is in November but I think that is too early for me. With so many possibilities and not even being close to having my mind made up, I think it would be best to wait and I have a lot to think about.
"Academics is top priority in my family so I have to find the right academic fit, look at these programs and traditions and these coaching staffs. It is a big process to go through. I will first pursue my education and then pursue my basketball career. You never know when an injury can end your basketball career so you must have that degree to fall back on and make that top priority."