There were several college coaches that thought Isaiah Tripp was good enough to play Division I basketball immediately after his senior year at Edmondson. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound point guard, however, had a different opinion.
“At the time, I really didn’t think I was ready to come into college and be an immediate impact player,” said Tripp, adding that he was recruited by Ohio, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville and Kennesaw State coming out of high school. “I wanted something bigger and something better.”
With those thoughts in mind, Tripp headed west for a post-grad year at Future College Prep in Carson, Calif. Last week, the former Red Storm star found what he was looking for and committed to Abilene Christian, a Division I program in the Southland Conference.
Tripp, who was also recruited by Loyola Marymount, Tennessee-Martin, James Madison, Cal-State Fullerton, Cal-State Northridge and Providence, said there were many reasons why he picked the Wildcats, who just completed their first DI season.
“For one, it was a Christian school. That was just an extra bonus on to it,” Tripp said. “The whole campus is just nice. It’s a pretty big school, but not too big and not too small. It just was a warm feeling when I went on the visit. The people were just phenomenal. The coaching staff, from Day 1, they were just honest with me … and they stuck with me through the whole recruiting process.”
Tripp, a second-team Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection as a senior, helped Edmondson to the Class 2A state championship a year ago. At prep school, he wanted to focus completely on basketball and getting “bigger and stronger.” He feels much better prepared for DI competition after the past year.
“Coming in as a freshman, the coaches expect me to definitely be an immediate impact player,” he said. “They don’t expect me to be a robot – they want me to play the point guard position and be able to get off the ball sometimes to do a little bit of scoring. They definitely expect me to be a high-energy guy.”
Tripp said another major plus for Abilene Christian was its mass communications and media program. Tripp started a videography business (Grand Vision Media) specializing in sports highlight packages and weddings, and hopes to expand his brand in college.
On the court and off, Tripp thinks he’s found an ideal fit in Abilene Christian.
“I’m somebody that’s definitely going to work hard every day,” Tripp said. “And I’ll be a great guy off the court, and somebody they don’t have to worry about in the classroom.”