Oskaloosa Freshman Xavier Foster Followed Plan to Iowa Offer

September 26, 2016

Written by Rob Howe

The process started with a plan, says Burchette Greer. It centered on hard work and fundamentals. Anything less could result in wasted time and failure to reach goals.

The Pure Prep Academy basketball director presented the blueprint to Xavier Foster when he expressed interest in becoming one of the best players in the country. Greer drew it up based on experiences playing college and professional basketball as well as years of teaching the game.

To Foster’s credit, he’s followed the guidance. The 6-foot-9 freshman from Oskaloosa (IA) High School picked up a scholarship offer from Iowa last week. He became the first instate class of 2020 prospect with that opportunity.

Greer pulled some strings. Foster was invited to compete in two prestigious summer camps – CP3 and Under Armor. Having followed the plan, he was prepared to match up with the best.

“When you work hard, good things happen. I told him I was going to get him into some camps but there’s going to be an investment involved in it. If you want be with the best players in the nation, it’s going to be an investment. You have to invest in it to get where you want to be,” Greer said.

The coach shared the developmental credit with Pure Prep Academy sidekick Grant Tucker. Greer said it started at home and continues to be the most important part of the progress.

“His parents have done a great job with him. It’s phenomenal what his dad is doing for him as far as the fundamentals of the game. His coaches, we work with him, but his dad works with him more because he’s with him every day and as a former player he’s done the best job. So, I give his dad a lot of credit,” Greer said.

Foster comes from good stock, Greer said. His mother (volleyball) and father (basketball) are athletes.

Greer said that Foster measures 6-9 in socks. With four years to go before high school graduation, it’s hard to say where he ends up.

“His growth plates are obviously still open but nobody knows. He could be 6-11. He could be seven feet. He could be 7-1. We just don’t know yet,” the coach said.

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Foster shows excellent agility for a youthful big man, Greer said.

“For his size, he’s pretty mobile. He shoots the three. He handles it pretty well. But his biggest thing is that he protects the rim,” Greer said.

Word began leaking out about Foster after his performances at the CP3 and Under Armor camps, Greer said. He turned the heads of media members in attendance.

“They took notes and looked at his upside. He was playing against some of the best players that they thought were in the 2020 class at both of those camps. He competed with those guys who have upside and it started growing from there,” Greer said.

Iowa had a head start.

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Greer called Hawkeye Assistant Sherman Dillard early this spring and told him he had a good one. Dillard looked into it and monitored Foster’s progress.

“Some coaches will take that information and say it’s a 14 year old and wait on it. But he showed interest and followed up and trailed his progression,” Greer said. “I give him kudos for it because the other schools I reached out to didn’t do so. Because Iowa was the first one to follow his progression and give him the offer, now everybody is kind of following suit. It’s like, oh, he’s got that type of potential.

“I give Iowa credit. I give them all the credit in the world because they could have said they were going to wait a couple of years to see how it goes. But they bit on it and they never wavered. Their family gives them kudos for it but they got a good recruit out of it.”

When they started with the plan, Greer asked Foster where he wanted to play college basketball.

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“His grandfather and his mom’s brother in law played at Iowa. So, they’re big fans of Iowa. When I asked Xavier what school he wanted to go to the first thing he said was Iowa,” Greer said.

When the evaluation period opened up this month, one of Dillard’s first stops was an open gym at Oskaloosa. Last week, he returned with head coach Fran McCaffery, who offered on the spot.

“When (Dillard) saw him work out, the training, how hard he worked, how nibble he was, how fluid he was, how fundamental he was, he was sold. He got video to show it to coach (McCaffery). Fran came down and saw the same thing. They were like, this kid is special,” Greer said.

The Iowa offer kick started Foster’s recruitment, Greer said. Iowa State was scheduled to be at an open gym Monday night and Baylor on Tuesday, the coach added. He believed a Cyclone offer would be on its way shortly.

Maryland, Xavier, Creighton, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Northern Iowa are other schools showing Foster interest, Greer said.

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