NEW CASTLE — Even at 6-foot-1 and 160 pounds, Lawrence Central point guard Nijel Pack showed he wasn’t afraid to mix it up during the Indiana Junior All-Stars matchup with the Seniors on Wednesday night at New Castle Fieldhouse.
Pack scored a team-high 17 points and shot 4-of-6 from 3-point range. But he also grabbed right rebounds, had three steals and wasn’t afraid to go into the lane and create, dishing four assists.
A three-star prospect, Pack hasn’t received a scholarship offer from Indiana. But Pack said the Hoosiers have reached out to him.
“They contacted me, and they told me to text them or call them whenever. Come down there and hang with the guys,” Pack said.
Pack has an official visit with Belmont this weekend and also has visits lined up with Northwestern and Kansas State. He said playing in the Nike EYBL with the Indy Heat has helped prepare him for driving in the lane against bigger, more physical players.
“The EYBL has been prepping me, (seeing) big-time shot blockers, 7-footers, so I’ve been kind of prepared for it since then,” Pack said.
Pack said his goal this summer is to become more vocal in leading an offense.
“They just think my game is all-around complete,” Pack said. “Mentally, I’ve got to get sharper on the game but then (being) vocal, that’s my big priority.”
Four-star prospect Anthony Leal, a junior combo guard from Bloomington South who has a scholarship offer from IU, has been dealing with a knee issue the past few weeks.
The 6-4 Leal still displayed a strong all-around floor game for the Indiana Juniors, finishing with seven points, five rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot against the biggest Indiana Senior All-Star — 6-8, 360-pound Dawand Jones
“I guess I just learned I could play with any of them,” Leal said of playing the seniors. “I stopped Dawand in the paint. So that was pretty cool. But it was just fun.”
Leal’s main goal this summer is to try to get healthy and show he can dribble through pressure. But Leal doesn’t intend to take a break during the summer AAU circuit in July.
“This being our last summer together, I’m just really just looking forward to playing whenever I can with all of the guys because after that it’s just high school and then off to college like it’s nothing,” Leal said. “Just trying to enjoy all of the experiences I can.”
Leal also has scholarship offers from Butler, Stanford, Xavier and Northwestern. He doesn’t have an exact timetable for his decision to commit but wants to do it before the start of his senior basketball season.
“My knee is a little rough right now,” Leal said. “But definitely getting stronger with the ball and being able to prove that I can be a guard, whether it’s Big Ten or Big East or wherever it is in my future.”