A standout football quarterback/basketball power forward, Kyle Singler decided to concentrate on hoops his senior year at Oregon's South Medford High.
Giving up the gridiron wasn't easy for the 6-foot-9, 215-pounder, whose dad, Ed, was a three-year starter at QB at Oregon State University.
"He's a good quarterback. He would be recruited Division One," South Medford High basketball coach Dennis Murphy said of Singler, who is on an official basketball recruiting trip to Kansas University today through Saturday.
"He was identified at 13, 14 as somebody with a bright future in basketball. To his credit, he wants to make himself the best (basketball player) he can be."
Which is fine with his dad, who also played basketball in high school.
"Kyle doesn't want to be an average or even a good college basketball player. He wants to be better than that," Ed Singler told the Jackson County (Ore.) Mail Tribune. "He agonized over the decision (to give up football) because in a sense he feels he let his school down, and he's the ultimate team player. But he feels like he made the right decision and has moved on."
Singler, who will commit orally to KU, Duke or Arizona in the next couple of weeks, averaged 20.5 points and 5.4 rebounds as a junior at South Medford High, which went 27-2 and placed second in the state.
"Yes, he's the best player I've coached," said Murphy, starting his 35th season. "He is the consummate team player, has great instincts, is coachable, plays hard and understands the game.
"One of his greatest assets is his ability to pass it. If you are open, get your hands up. He'll pass you the ball and expect you to catch it and make it. If you don't make it, he might say something to you about it because he has the greatest desire to win. He's a tough-minded kid."
Singler exploded on the national scene last summer, averaging 11 points and 6.3 rebounds for the gold medal-winning United States FIBA Americas Under-18 team.
" One of things Lorenzo Romar (U.S. Under-18 coach) told me is, he was surprised with how well he defended," Murphy said of Singler, who scored 13 points with six assists and five rebounds in the United States' 104-82 championship-game victory over Argentina.
That's definitely a plus, considering Singler is a natural scorer who can drift outside to shoot the three.
"Hands down, he is the best player in the class of 2007," Rivals.com recruiting analyst Shay Wildeboor said.
"You talk about (O.J.) Mayo, (Bill) Walker, (Michael) Beasley, all of them are great, but absolutely none are as complete a player as Kyle Singler. You talk about his preparation, attitude, how he can impact a game on both ends of the court, his ability to get teammates involved : he is a special player. I'd say fundamentally he's a match between (Dirk) Nowitzki, (Larry) Bird and Adam Morrison."
Singler, who will attend Friday's Late Night in the Phog, will return Saturday to Oregon for his grandmother's 80th birthday party, then study the pros and cons of his finalists the next few weeks.
"How it (recruitment) will end up, I don't know," Murphy said. "You ask me, my thoughts are it's down to Kansas and Duke, but Arizona must still be in it. He hasn't told anybody Arizona is out. I know he's looking forward to his trip to Kansas (with his mom). I would think it would be a couple of weeks before he has a decision. I know he's enjoyed the process, but is also ready for it to end."