The Class of 2018 is shaping up to be a special one in Northeast Ohio. The next player who might break out on the recruiting scene is Lutheran East guard Keandre Graves.
Part of a young core with Lutheran East, Graves stands at 6-foot-3 and immediately averaged double-digits in scoring as a freshman last season. Now he wants to take the next step to become a complete player.
“I've been working on my ball-handling, getting quicker on defense and rebounding,” Graves said. “I rebounded OK last year, but I don't think I did as well as I should have.”
Graves has also tried to slow the game down. He says the biggest adjustment from going from eighth grade to the high school last season was the pace of the game. As a member of Ohio Basketball Club during the summer, he has been preparing himself by continuing to play strong competition.
“I feel like we have the best players in Ohio for the Class of 2018,” Graves said. “We're always playing against the top players across the country.”
Graves has yet to pick up any offers but he's loaded with potential. His pedigree also helps, as he comes from an athletic family. His cousin is NFL cornerback Aqib Talib.
“My family's experience helps me know what to do, and I can learn from the mistakes they made,” Graves said. “They talk to me about what they've done.”
Graves says Talib will take him on a visit next year to his alma mater, Kansas, to give him a sense for what the recruiting process is like.
Also on Graves' side is a Lutheran East team that seems poised to play in some big games. The team took some lumps last year with its young core, but now Graves and his teammates are looking like they can make some noise in Division IV.
“We love playing together,” Graves said. “We worked out in the summer together. I think our chemistry has gotten better. Last year, we had a tough schedule, but as we progress and get older, we'll be tough to beat. I really think that with the progression I've made that we can make a run to the state tournament this year.”