Posted On: 07/2/19 10:42 AM
Every summer there seems to be one Iowa player that surges into high-level recruitment. This year, that guy is Waukee 2021 Payton Sandfort.
The 6-foot-7 sharpshooting guard recently played in the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association Top 40 event, a Midwest Showcase in Missouri, and he excelled. Since the event, he’s picked up offers from Iowa, Utah, Minnesota, Drake and Air Force.
“The event was attended really well by a lot of coaches and I was able to showcase a lot of my abilities and I really felt good knowing this was my chance to prove to those coaches what I can do,” said Sandfort.
Known for his elite shooting ability paired with his great size, Sandfort has also proven to be a proficient and versatile defender and a strong rebounder.
“My defense and rebounding have really come a long way and I’m able to guard lots of different types of players. I play some point guard so my ball-handling and passing skills are, to me, some of my best skills. I also really take pride in being a great leader and teammate so my teams always have a better chance at winning,” said Sandfort.
“I’m really working hard to get stronger and faster. I’m always working to improve different parts of my game that may be considered weaknesses, but also perfecting my strengths.”
The first offer to come in for Sandfort was from the Hawkeyes, later that day Utah offered. Minnesota offered the next day. That’s three high-major offers to start his list, not bad.
“I was really excited to receive them because it is something I’ve been working for all of my life. I’ve been to U of Iowa before for different sporting events throughout the years, but I’ll definitely be visiting this fall,” said Sandfort. “I visited Minnesota last winter for a game, I’ve never been to Utah, but I’ve been talking to the coaches for a while and will take a visit soon.”
Drake offered on the same day as Minnesota. That offer was perhaps expected, Sandfort plays with Drake coach Darian DeVries’ son, Tucker DeVries, on Waukee.
“Coach DeVries obviously comes to a lot of high school games and being good friends with Tucker, I’ve talked to Coach DeVries quite a few times during the past year,” Sandfort said. “I really liked the entire staff when I met with them and look forward to improving our relationship.”
This July, Sandfort will get back to his Kingdom Hoops 16u squad, one of the best grassroots teams in Iowa.
“I really love playing with Kingdom Hoops. We have a great group of guys and a really great coach and support system,” Sandfort said. “I’m really looking forward to just seeing if we can continue how we finished up the spring season and I’m really looking forward to getting with the guys again.”
Just a rising junior, Sandfort still has a two high school seasons ahead of him, and what will be another important 17u offseason next spring and summer. There’s plenty of time for him to rack up more offers.
When the time does come to make a decision, Sandfort says academics and the relationship with coaching staffs will be key.
“I just want to find the perfect fit for me. Athletics is very important, but I also want to find a place where I can excel academically as well,” said Sandfort. “Relationships with coaches and other players is also a huge factor.”