“The more I watched Jarod, the more I liked him every time I saw him. He just has a tremendous basketball IQ. He plays hard and has a super motor and he is a good human being. He is a solid individual,” said Brown.
Rhodes looked no further than Lee when it came time to make a college choice. The 6-2 highly regarded rebounder, who will also work to earn a degree in physical education, said the Flames basketball program is just the kind of situation that will allow him to grow as an athlete and individual.
“I chose Lee because they have a good basketball program and I think I can get a lot of exposure. I also think I can get a lot of playing time,” said Rhodes.
McCowan said Rhodes’ best plan of action is to continue what he has done at Cleveland and work as hard as he can to continue to improve on the basketball court.
“I hope he just continues to do what he did here at Cleveland and that was to be himself. When we got Jarod, we realized very quickly he was a diamond in the rough coming out of middle school,” McCowan said of his unassuming star. “There wasn’t a lot said about him coming out of middle school, but we realized he was a very good scorer and a very good rebounder.”
Brown said he plans to redshirt Rhodes his freshman year to give the prospect a chance to season his skills. The move will give the newest Flame a year to hone his skills and acclimate to the speed and quickness of the college game.
“He is a little undersized for his position, but I think with how hard he works he will do fine,” said Brown.
“With a year in the weight room we feel like he can be a good player for us. I think the more he develops his perimeter game the higher his ceiling will go. As he develops his ball handling and shooting he has the chance to be really, really good. Where he is at now, he is a great rebounder and has a nose for the ball. We will always have a place for a great rebounder.”
Rhodes’ performance his senior year was also impressive to McCowan and Brown. McCowan said his attitude and perseverance will serve him well as he transitions to the next level.
“When he came to us we were 10 or 12 deep and it didn’t bother him, he just continued working on his game. It is a very similar situation he will be going into at Lee. He will have to prove himself,” said McCowan. He didn’t do anything extraordinary in our situation, he just was Jarod each and every day. His senior year was one of the best individual performances I have seen in my last five or six years. Seventeen double-doubles in a high school season is pretty impressive.”
Rhodes said the wait will not phase how he approaches the game. He plans to work hard and make sure when Brown calls he name, he will be ready to go.
“I will be able to take that time and get faster, bigger and work on my skills. I will do whatever it takes to improve my basketball career at Lee,” he said.
“I will take my freshman and sophomore years [as examples of] where I got a lot better. I got a lot of exposure and learned a lot from watching Ish (Sanders) play. I think I will take that with me.”