Last month, Rondae Jefferson received the news that every high school basketball player in the United States fantasizes to hear.
The Chester, Pennsylvania native was told that he would be representing his country overseas in the U-17 World Championship. "To make that team, I cried because it was a dream come true," said Jefferson.
But just days later, he injured his shoulder and was forced to miss the tournament --the USA U-17 team would go on to win the gold medal.
As one can imagine, the injury was a setback for Jefferson, although more emotionally than physically. "I didn't know what to do, say, anything. I was just lost."
Now a month later, the talented forward who has offers from a number of top programs can reminisce on the time he did spend wearing the country's colors.
"Just going out there to tryout for the team, it was a great experience to play with those guys," said Jefferson. "It's not everyday that a kid from my area gets a chance to do that."
Fortunately, the shoulder injury was not serious and "everything is in place now." That was a relief not only to Jefferson but to coaches who are recruiting him.
Two of those coaches are Sean Miller and Book Richardson. On what they have been saying to him, Jefferson said, "They tell me that I'm a great fit for their program, that I could compete for a starting spot, and how great the atmosphere is."
The Arizona staff has made the 6'6 forward one of their top priorities in the 2013 and for good reason. He displays exceptional athleticism, a solid frame, and the ability to finish at the rim.
Jefferson's jump shot was perhaps his biggest weakness going into the summer but he has worked tirelessly on it the past few months.
While he is aware of the coaches watching him, Jefferson insists his entire attention is on the game. "I'm just trying to stay focused and worry about my job on the court."
He has no visits set up right now and plans to start focusing on recruiting after the grueling evaluation period is over.
Jefferson's most recent visit before the summer started was an unofficial trip to Syracuse. He noted their state of the art facilities and was overall impressed with everything.
"It a great experience to talk to the coaches and get to know everybody," Jefferson said. He also stated that he talks the most with Coach Hopkins.
On YouTube, there is a video of Jefferson and a friend doing their remake of the famous Michael Jordan and Spike Lee commercial.
When asked about how the video came to be, Jefferson answered, "It was from a guy named Rashawn Tucker. He called me and told me about it. Since he's from my city, I wasn't going to turn him down so I told him 'let's do it.'"
Jefferson may be working on his acting skills but on the court, not too many players can match his talent.