By Eric Bossi
Scout.com, recruiting analyst
Wednesday afternoon, Aaron Bright will take the floor looking to lead Bellevue (WA) High to a victory in the first round of the Washington Class 3A tournament. Averaging nearly 16 points, five assists, two rebounds and two steals per game, the 5-foot-11 point guard is enjoying a fine junior season and making the most of his opportunity.
Now the target of several college programs, Bright used an opportunity at last May’s Nike Memorial Day Classic in Nashville (TN) to catapult himself onto the national radar. To him, it was just a matter of getting chance to show everybody else what he’s capable of.
“I think it was just getting exposure,” said Bright of his performance with Seattle based Friends of Hoop. “My freshman year I was playing behind Isaiah Thomas so I kind of just rode the bench. Last year I had the chance and just wanted to get my name out there.”
Thanks to his deadeye shooting from deep, ability to set up others and quickness off the dribble, it didn’t take long to earn admirers.
“I’m kind of like a shooting point guard,” says Bright when asked to describe his game. “I’m somebody who can dish out the ball and keep everybody involved. Not only can I get people involved, but I can shoot the ball too.”
Not surprisingly, Bright credits his ability to shoot for helping to open up other areas of the game for himself and his team.
“It helps me a lot,” said Bright of his shooting. “With me being considered an undersized guard, to be able to pull the defense out and open up the inside is big. “(Defenses) have to respect my jump shot and it really opens things up for the team.”
So far, the list of schools tracking Bright has taken on a definite West Coast flavor.
“I think the schools that have been recruiting me the hardest are Stanford and Arizona,” said Bright. “I’ve also been talking to Gonzaga and San Francisco and some other Pac-10 schools.”
Speaking of Stanford, the Cardinal and head coach Johnny Dawkins have made a favorable early impression.
“I really, really like Stanford a lot,” Bright told the Bootleg.com. “I just talked to Coach Dawkins the day before and I’ve usually been talking to him every week.” “I went down there on an unofficial and I really liked the campus. I like the way he runs the team and I know a little bit about his coaching philosophy and style. I really like him as a coach and a person.”
That being said, Bright isn’t in any rush to make a decision. He’s focusing on what he hopes is a run to a state championship and is curious to see what will happen after hitting the summer circuit.
“I think I’ll probably wait until after the summer and see what happens and what other schools pick up interest,” said Bright of when he’ll make a decision. “I’ll probably set up visits and all that after the summer.”
When he does make a decision, the coaching staff and his comfort level with the team and school will be most important. He’s looking at his college decision as one of the biggest that he’ll make and the last thing he wants to do is make a choice that he’ll regret by rushing things.
In the meantime, he’s just looking for more opportunities and hopes that he’ll continue to maximize them.
“I knew that if I had the opportunity to get out on the scene that it was just a matter of time,” said Bright. “It feels good, but I’m still not signed anywhere and I still have a lot to prove. I just keep playing and hope for the best.”