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Friends' Jon Schmidt has Ivy League aspirations

On the eve of Nike Baltimore Elite's first game of the open period in July, Carlton "Bub" Carrington fielded "five or six" calls from college coaches eager to get a glimpse of Jon Schmidt the following day.

The 6-foot-7, 205-pound forward from the Friends School had fared well in the earlier part of the AAU season, landing a spot in Carrington's starting lineup. July was Schmidt's time to shine in front of Division I coaches.

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"I was stretching for the first day of July," Schmidt recalled. "You do those high kicks where you kick out. It just popped. That was it for the summer. [I was out for] like eight weeks."

The diagnosis was a torn hamstring, leaving Nike Baltimore Elite without its starting power forward, and Schmidt -- an athletic shooter with impressive handles -- without a chance to earn a scholarship during the summer.

"That was very disappointing," Schmidt said. "I lost a lot of people looking at me during that period. It's been really tough to get back to having people see me."Said Carrington: "It was just a freak accident. … He was sort of like the glue guy to our team. He was very cerebral, stable. I could always count on him for 12 to 16 points. I could just pencil him in for six or seven tough rebounds, pencil him in for a charge or two he would take each game. He was just very, very consistent. … But Jon's the type of kid that's going to rebound because he's going to have a terrific year at Friends in the [MIAA] B Conference. It just slowed him a little bit."

Schmidt, who averaged about 19 points and 12 rebounds for Friends as a junior, is already well on his way back to full strength. Part of his recovery has come on the soccer field, with Schmidt playing the role of the Quakers' starting striker – and the B Conference's largest player.

"I scored a goal this year against Glenelg [Country School]," Schmidt said. "One of their players had the ball and I screamed, 'I got the ball!' And he [panicked] and kicked it into his own goal."

The conditioning and plyometric training Schmidt receives from soccer has him primed for basketball season, when he'll have another chance to impress college coaches. In addition to its regular B Conference slate, Friends has matchups scheduled against Baltimore Catholic League powers St. Frances and Mount St. Joseph. Schmidt hopes those high-profile games raise his stock in the eyes of his dream schools.

"I've been looking mostly at Ivy League schools," Schmidt said. "I'm very interested in Cornell and Dartmouth. Cornell said if I get one point higher on my ACT, then I can go there. But as far as Dartmouth, they want to see me play against higher competition. But I have a lot of options, and it's exciting. So hopefully I'll be able to play well this season. I've been working hard so that I can play well against the good competition."

Carrington, meanwhile, remains confident that Schmidt will eventually land in a good Division I situation.

"He's going to bring a sense of humbleness, a sense of team that's going to rub off on everyone else," Carrington said. "On the court, he's going to be the first one at practice. If it starts at 5, he'll be in at 4:30 shooting around. He's the last one out of the gym. He has a great work ethic and a very good sense of team. He's going to be a great player, a real good four-year player."

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