By: Eric Van Dril | Dec. 21, 2016
North Lawndale guard Carlos Hines ended his recruitment on Tuesday, Dec. 20, when he committed to a Northern Arizona program that showed it’s committed to him.
The Lumberjacks, who play in the Big Sky Conference, offered Hines a scholarship on Dec. 2. They continued to show their seriousness about Hines, one of the Public League’s best guards, in the days and weeks after that.
“Two days after the offer, they showed up to my game,” Hines said. “They came down to a practice, a home visit. They’re always texting. We stayed in contact most of the time. That just showed their interest — that I’m their No. 1 recruit. They told me that, in the recruiting process, (college coaches) have also got to recruit (other) guys just in case you don’t get the guy that you want. For other programs, I wasn’t the guy that they wanted. I was the second or third option. If they didn’t get that first guy, then they’d come to me. For Northern Arizona, I was the first guy right away.”
Hines committed to Northern Arizona and head coach Jack Murphy for other reasons, too.
Hines’ wants to play professionally after college, he said, and Murphy has professional connections both in the United States and overseas. Leaving the violence and cold weather of Chicago was also appealing, according to Hines. Plus, he figures to have an opportunity to play point guard early on in his career.
Furthermore, Northern Arizona plays a tough schedule. The Lumberjacks are currently 3-10, but they have already played at Washington, at UNLV, at UTEP (a 76-74 win) and at UIC. Hines watched Northern Arizona play at the UIC Pavilion on Tuesday night.
Hines has yet to visit the Northern Arizona campus, which is in Flagstaff, but he decided to commit during the season because of the coaching staff’s seriousness and to alleviate some of the pressure.
“Throughout the year, I’ve felt a lot of pressure,” Hines said. “(The pressure) wasn’t really affecting me. It was like, ‘OK, coach is at the game. Now I’ve got to get them what they want.’ I (was) trying to focus on getting a scholarship. Now that I’ve got it locked up, I can focus on getting a state championship and elevating my game.”
Hines still feels he has something to prove.
When he announced his commitment, he thanked the coaches who recruited him and those that didn’t.
“It’s not going to do anything but give me extra drive — put another chip on my shoulder,” Hines said, when asked why he thanked the coaches who didn’t recruit him. “I want to thank them for that motivation, and hopefully I see them in college, and put it on their head.”
Hines’ desire to get better and prove himself doesn’t figure to let up any time soon — even now that he is committed.
“The scholarship, that’s nice. Of course I want to go to college for free,” Hines said. “But it’s (now) about my team and me. I want to win the (Class 3A) state championship. I still want to … let people know that I’m a great player, and I can compete with the best in the country.”