Jericole Hellems’ recruiting is starting to pick up and he’s on the radar of the South Carolina coaching staff.
The Gamecocks are showing interest in Hellems, who plays at Chaminade High School in St. Louis and AAU for Bradley Beal Elite 17U. USC coach Frank Martin was on hand Friday to watch Hellems’ squad defeat CIA Bounce, 91-80, at Nike’s Peach Jam at Riverview Parks Activities Center.
Hellems said new USC assistant coach Chuck Martin has been handling his recruiting. Martin is a former Indiana assistant coach with ties to the Midwest.
“Coach (Frank) Martin has been texting me starting in last recruiting session. He said he is very interested in me and of course I am interested in South Carolina,” Hellems said. “I loved the pace of South Carolina’s game. They like to move fast. Coach Martin told me he likes my passion and players like me. And I like coaches like coach Martin with passion for the game because I love and have passion for the game.”
The Gamecocks have yet to offer Hellems, but he plans to take an official visit to USC in August. Some of his offers include Tulsa, Illinois State and George Washington.
Hellems, 6-foot-7, 190 pounds, is listed as a small forward but is comfortable handling the ball or playing shooting guard. The rising senior is averaging 28.4 points and is shooting 65.4 percent from the field, including 57.1 from three-point range in three games at Peach Jam.
Hellems averaged 22 points a game last season in helping Chaminade to a trip to the final four of the Class 5 Missouri playoffs.
“I feel like all spring I have worked my tail off to get to a high level,” Hellems said. “There are a lot of tough guys here and it is a privilege to play against them. I look at people, and no disrespect to anybody, but I see me as the best player on the floor and try to play every game like it is my last.”