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February 13, 2013Stephen Zimmerman is a name that recruiting fans probably need to learn.
He has a world of potential and he's projecting to be a highly coveted center with the unique ability to play inside and outside.
Add in the fact that he's now a full 7-0 tall, gaining strength and playing for a pretty high profile high school team in a major city and you have the makings of a national level recruitment.
Zimmerman, one of the top overall players in the class of 2015, plays for the esteemed Bishop Gorman program in Las Vegas---the same program that produced Shabazz Muhammad, the current UCLA Bruin star who is projected to be a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Like Muhammad before him, Zimmerman will start to become the focal point over the next couple of years for opposing defenses who will look to limit his impact on the game.
At this point, however, Zimmerman is showing all of the signs of a big man who can make an impact not only offensively, but defensively as well.
He has a nice, soft jumper with range, good quickness and coordination for a young big man and he blocks and alters shots in the lane, both in and outside of his area.
He also moves well on the floor and shows a lot of versatility at his position which is sure to cause some matchup problems both at the high school and collegiate level.
These attributes have caused his recruitment to take off and we spoke with the skilled big man as well as his mother, Lori, about his recruitment.
To date, the slender 210-pounder holds several offers. He his one of the most high profile big men, not only in the western half of the United States, but nationally as well.
Mrs. Zimmerman ran down his early offers.
"He's got offers from UNLV, UCLA, Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, Kansas, UConn, Memphis, Auburn and UTEP," she said.
He's also starting to receive increasing levels of interest from The University of North Carolina. She elaborated further on the interest from the staff in Chapel Hill.
"It's been mostly calls to our AAU coach," Zimmerman said, "Coach Roy (Williams) telling us that they are very excited to watch Stephen when we saw them practicing."
According to Stephen, who does his homework on the schools that are recruiting him, he likes the way that the Tar Heels incorporate the post players in the offensive sets. He's also impressed with the history of success at UNC.
"You can't help but be impressed and honored to have a school with such an impressive tradition show interest," he said. "They do a great job with big men."
THI has yet to do the full-evaluation of Zimmerman but we plan to watch him several times this spring and summer as he will be in action with the Dream Vision AAU program.
He's currently rated as a coveted five-star prospect by Rivals.com and national analyst Eric Bossi thinks very highly of him.
"He's certainly in the discussion for the top rated player in the class of 2015," said Bossi. "I'm not saying he will end up there but he's certainly in the discussion. He can dribble and face up defenders and shoot the ball with range and he's a fluid athlete who can get by people with quickness. He's a big-time center prospect in the class of 2015."
On the season thus far, Zimmerman is averaging 13 points, 12.5 rebounds and five blocked shots per game for Bishop Gorman.
Stay tuned to Tar Heel Illustrated for the latest on basketball recruits in the class of 2013, 2014 and 2015.