When the programs were printed for last Friday's All City Classic, Shawn Alston had an asterisk next to his name. The Haverford School guard would not be playing because of an injury.
But he changed his mind, sore knees and all.
"I'm not going to get a lot of opportunities to play in front of my hometown fans, so I decided to play," Alston said after he scored 13 points in the junior game.
The 6-foot-4 Alston will be a senior in the fall. He is one of Temple's top targets in the Class of 2015. And Owls fans can take a deep breath. Alston's comment about not having many opportunities to play near home pertains to this summer and not necessarily to his college days.
Temple is still an option, but his recruitment has risen thanks to his play on this spring's AAU circuit with Team Final. ESPN updated its top 100 rankings on Wednesday, and Alston is listed No. 81 in his class.
He has added offers from Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Virginia Commonwealth, Wichita State, and Seton Hall. He visited VCU last month and plans to visit Notre Dame this summer.
Alston will participate in the LeBron James Skills Academy in July in Las Vegas and some other premier camps.
"My name is starting to blow up," Alston said, "so it's been fun."
His father, Levan, played for John Chaney in the mid-1990s. Alston said he watches his father's college tapes and "always wanted" to go to Temple. Is his father pulling for the Owls?
"He's in the middle right now. He doesn't really say too much," said Alston.
Levan Alston gives his son the same advice that his high school coach, Bill Ellerbee, gave him: If a coach really wants you, they will let it be known. He said his son took a while to get attention because he does not play flashy.
"If you play the right way, colleges know the guy that plays the right way, and you will be seen," Alston said. "It's all panning out for him."
He said his son learned to play the right way by attending his father's morning workouts when he would return from playing professionally overseas. Alston would watch his father play with Allen Iverson, Aaron McKie, Cuttino Mobley, Alvin Williams, and others.
And after they were done, Shawn Alston would get on the court with the son of former Temple star Rick Brunson.
"They'd play one-on-one or do their little workout," Levan Alston said. "They were just 6, 7 years old."
Now that other youngster, Jalen Brunson, is the nation's No. 1 point guard. The Owls were one of his first offers. If Temple gets its wish, those one-on-one games could resume a decade later.
Neumann-Goretti's Lamarr Kimble, Ewing (N.J.)'s Trey Lowe, and La Salle's David Krmpotich were invited to next month's Reebok Breakout Challenge at Philadelphia University. The three players earned the invites at last Sunday's Open Run at Penn State Abington.
Lowe, who plays with Kimble on Team Final's AAU program, will visit Villanova on Monday and St. Joseph's on Tuesday. The 6-6 guard has offers from Drexel, St. Joseph's, Temple, Rutgers, and others.
Kimble, a 6-foot guard, visited St. Joseph's on Thursday. The Hawks offered him a scholarship last summer. In May, he added offers from Florida Gulf Coast, Old Dominion, and Quinnipiac.
Council Rock North quarterback Brandon McIlwain visited Miami (Fla.), Florida, and Auburn this week to start off what he called his "summer tour." All three schools have offered him a scholarship, as have Penn State, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, and others. The 6-1, 205-pounder will be a junior in the fall. He threw for 1,609 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.