Posted On: 06/24/19 5:00 AM

Ishmael Leggett is hands down one of the biggest local stock risers of the spring. The productive guard out of St. John’s College High School, who was a popular attraction this past weekend at DC Live, should continue to see his recruitment expand through Peach Jam with Team Durant. Leggett recapped his official visit to Rhode Island and much more during a recent interview with Prep Hoops.

PH: Which schools would you say are pursuing you hardest right now?

IL: “Mostly all of them I’d say. A couple of the ones that have offered me are pursuing me hard. Rhode Island for sure. George Mason, GW, a long list actually. Constant communication from several others as well.” 

PH: Which schools have you visited?

IL: “I only have one official visit under my belt right now, and that’s Rhode Island. Going on a couple of officials this summer, and that’s pretty much it right now.”

PH: What schools do you want to visit?

IL: “I try to get to the out of town schools. Because I know further along my dad won’t be able to go, and I want him there with me. So most of the schools that are not in the area I’d say are the ones I want to take unofficials and officials to this summer.

PH: What’s important in your decision?

IL: “Just the right fit for me. Somewhere I can see myself getting a good education and playing basketball for the next four years. Being able to make an impact right away, and overall just a great fit for me. That’s it.”

PH: What’s your preferred playing style?

IL: “Definitely fast paced. Here at St. John’s, we play a fast paced game. We play a lot of guards. Gotta get up and down the court, and to play free, but with a limit. Know what you’re doing while you’re playing free with your teammates.” 

PH: Briefly recap your official to Rhode Island

IL: “It was really nice. They definitely set the bar high. I liked it a lot.”

PH: What specifically did you like about the visit?

IL: “10 minutes down the road, there’s a beach. The scenery was great. The people and the vibes were great. The environment of the school, I really liked it. Felt like family over there. My family and I enjoyed it.”

PH: What are your goals?

IL: “Long-term, definitely win a WCAC Championship. Short-term, as far as AAU, Peach Jam for sure. It’s our last go around. As far as school, I need a WCAC Championship. I’ve been waiting for one for four years. I think this year we have a great chance to do it.”

PH: Talk about embracing your leadership role as one of the seniors on the team heading into this year.T

IL: “As far as leadership goes, I think I was a born leader. A natural leader. Everyone on the court looks to me to tell them what to do or where to be because I’ve been here probably the longest. I really embrace the leadership role. I like it a lot. I think we’re going to do something special this year. Us three seniors, and the rest of the team.”

PH: Who do you model your game after?

IL: “I don’t really model it after anybody, but the players I really look up to are Russell Westbrook. High pace, explosive. Dame Lillard, for sure. Just a scrappy, quick guard. Kyle Lowry, I see myself in a lot of those players. A lot of scrappy guards. Defensive-minded guards.”

PH: How’s your offensive game coming along?

IL: “Definitely got a little bit of work to do, but it’s coming along nicely. Got a pat down a couple tweaky things like one-dribble pull-ups, floaters, stuff like that. Just touch things. Other that that, I’m getting in the gym. Everything is going well as far as that work goes.”

PH: What’s underrated about your offensive game?

IL: “I think my ability to get to the rim. Create contact. And I can step out, if you’re backing up, I can hit a jump shot. Definitely my first step though. I have a quick first step and catch a lot of defenders off guard with it.” 

PH: How confident are you shooting the ball?

IL: “I’m very confident. I put the work in. When you put the work in, you’ve got to be confident when you step foot on that court.” 

PH: What do you think you can bring to a college program?

IL: “Definitely intensity. I’m a defensive-minded player. My defense turns into my offense, so definitely just intensity. Overall intensity. 110% effort. I’m a winner. Winning plays. I’m just an overall winner I’d say.”

Ishmael Leggett is currently ranked by Prep Hoops as a top-10 prospect in his class. To view the full ranking of Maryland and DC’s 2020 class, click here.