Immanuel Quickley has been on a whirlwind for a couple of years, ever since the John Carroll School basketball star’s profile began to extend beyond Baltimore.
The past three weeks have been, and the next three will be, busier than normal.
Quickley hasn’t been home to Havre de Grace since leaving for an Adidas-sponsored weekend camp that began June 9 in Treviso, Italy.
From there, Quickley flew to Virginia for the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 camp in Charlottesville, Va., which ended June 18.
After that, Quickley headed for Colorado Springs, Colo., to try out for the Under-19 national team.
Now that the 6-foot-3 point guard has been named as one of the 12 members of the team, the 10th-ranked high school prospect in the country will be going to Cairo for the FIBA World Cup, which begins Saturday.
“It’s been crazy. I’ve seen a lot of stuff lately,” Quickley said in a telephone interview Friday. “When I go to Egypt, it’ll be even more stuff. … Basketball has been taking me a lot of places and I’m grateful for that, and I’m just looking to experience more.”
Still, the travel has given Quickley a rest from the recruiting process that is gradually reaching a conclusion. During an interview Wednesday on Kentucky Sports Radio, Quickley called Kentucky his “favorite” school, ahead of finalists Maryland, Kansas and Miami, and said he hopes to make a commitment before the start of his senior year of high school.
“I think it has gotten a little easier. I get to take a break and play basketball, honestly, ” Quickley said. “It’s still fun.”
Not that Quickley is naïve to think that being a member of the U-19 team won’t give an advantage to Wildcats coach John Calipari, who will be coaching the U-19 national team for the better part of a month.
While other coaches, including Maryland’s Mark Turgeon, have been able to watch some of the practices in Colorado Springs, Calipari can give Quickley a taste of what to expect if he decides to head to Lexington, Ky., in 2018.
Asked what it has been like to get coached by Calipari, Quickley said, “It’s a lot different than just seeing him on TV and how he coaches his point guards. To actually be the point guard he’s coaching is really different. He plays fast, he coaches fast, so I have to adjust to that.”
Quickley also said he’s adjusting to playing on a team made up of other high school stars as well as college players, including rising Maryland sophomore wing Kevin Huerter.
“In high school and [Amateur Athletic Union], you’re basically the guy, so you take all the shots really,” Quickley said. “But in a team like this, everybody is just as good as you, so you do all the little stuff and play defense and stuff like that.”
Said Huerter, "He can really do it all. He's definitely been getting more confident with his shooting as the week went on, that was something we knew he could do. He'll pick you up full court, he'll defend you all the way up the court. He's a really good passer. He can really do it all when he wants to turn it on."
Quickley, who was a member of the U-17 team that won a gold medal in Spain last summer, is projected by many to be another potential one-and-done college player. In watching freshmen taken with the first seven picks and 16 in the first round of Thursday’s NBA draft — both were records — Quickley knows he might face the same decision in the next two years.
“It just shows that if you continue to work hard, you can maybe one day be in the same position as them,” Quickley said.
Quickley said he plans to be back home “around July 17.”
Given his busy schedule so far, does he plan on taking a break and hanging around Baltimore for a while?
“I doubt it,” he said.