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Huerter deemed fit for The King

Huerter deemed fit for The King

Kevin Huerter is one of the best high school boys’ basketball players in Section II.
Huerter deemed fit for The King
Kevin Huerter of Shenendehowa takes a shot over Jamel Allen of Brentwood in the State Finals at the Glens Falls Civic Center March 22.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

Kevin Huerter is one of the best high school boys’ basketball players in Section II.

Kevin Durant and LeBron James are two of the best basketball players in the world.

At the end of the month, those NBA stars will be two of Huerter’s counselors at the Nike Basketball Academy.

“Obviously, that’s going to be pretty cool,” Huerter said Wednesday.

Huerter, a junior at Shenendehowa, was recently invited to participate at the Nike Basketball Academy, a first-year camp scheduled for June 26-29 at the Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar in Los Angeles. There, Huerter will compete against some of the best high school players in the country, plus 20 of the top college athletes.

In recent months, Huerter — a 16-year-old from Clifton Park — has established himself as one of the nation’s top prep players. ESPN recently ranked him No. 73 in the class of 2016, and colleges from the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 are amongst the schools recruiting Huerter at the NCAA level.

“It’s been unbelievable,” said Shenendehowa head coach Tony Dzikas, who said he spoke Tuesday with coaches from the University of Maryland and Vanderbilt University on Huerter’s behalf.

Huerter said he has no front-runner at the moment and won’t make a decision about his post-Shenendehowa basketball career until the fall, at the earliest. He said coaches from some of the colleges recruiting him — that list includes the University of Michigan, the University of Oregon, and Syracuse University — helped him to score an invite to the Nike Basketball Academy.

“But I don’t think he needed much help,” Dzikas said. “His name is out there.”

Coming off a winter in which the 6-foot-5 guard led Shenendehowa to its first state title since 1987, Huerter has continued to dazzle with his play for the Albany City Rocks. Huerter plays for the elite AAU program’s 17U team and has starred throughout the spring circuit. He is the team’s co-leader in scoring — along with Guilderland product Andrew Platek — at 13.2 points per game, while Huerter has been the team’s most accurate 3-pointer shooter (44 percent), and squad leader in assists (3.3) and steals (1.4).

“What I’ve learned is that his ceiling is limitless,” Dzikas said. “He’s so lanky, so tall, and he’s just getting stronger. I think he can go as far as he wants to work.”

Huerter — who plays this weekend in the Rumble in the Bronx tournament — will get the chance to put in some serious work at the Nike Basketball Academy. Besides 5-on-5 action against top competition, the camp will also put Huerter through a combine-like event, off-court workouts, and skill work.

It’s all free for Huerter, too, including travel.

Huerter went to one showcase event last year — but James was not at that one. While Huerter said he is excited to meet and train with some of the sport’s biggest names, he said he will not be starry-eyed when he hits the court in Los Angeles.

“I know you have a lot to prove when you go out to one of these,” he said. “It’s great to be invited, but if you go out there and don’t perform, you get marked as a kid that’s overrated and shouldn’t have been there.

“You need to prove yourself again at these.”

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