Thanks to class of 2013 small forward Ishmail Wainright for doing the interview with us. The junior wing transferred to Montrose Christian Academy (Maryland) for his junior year and stands at 6’5, 220 pounds. The Raytown, Missouri native talked to us extensively about his recruitment, who he wants to play with and more so be sure to check out our recruiting update on Wainright as well as this interview. Don’t forget his first player blog will be published today where he’ll reveal a lot of recruiting news and give you exclusive access to his life.
What’s your list of schools?
So far, there are a lot of them.
Are there any schools that are standing out to you right now?
The ones standing out are UCLA, St. John’s, Louisville, Syracuse, West Virginia and Missouri. They’re the schools who have been coming to see me and who have been contacting me a lot. They’ve been recruiting me the hardest.
Is there one school in particular who is recruiting you the hardest?
There are probably three or four schools who are doing the same thing. Alabama, they’ve been contacting me real hard, West Virginia calls me whenever they can and UCLA is recruiting me hard.
Who’s your favorite coaching staff?
[Kentucky head coach] John Calipari is my favorite coach, it’s either between him and [St. John’s head] coach [Steve] Lavin. I’ve been talking to Coach Lavin a lot lately. And UCLA, those are probably my top three favorite coaching staffs.
Who’s your favorite coach to talk to when they call?
I’d have to say [assistant] coach [Adrian] Autry from Syracuse and [head] coach [Anthony] Grant from Alabama. Just from a relationship standpoint, when we first started talking, we were cool.
Have any conversations that you’ve had recently with coaches stood out?
Whenever I talk to [assistant] coach [Jerome] Tang from Baylor he always throws something at me that’s not basketball conversation. Like sometimes we talk about life and God and everything else.
So is that something you value when coaches get to know you as well as recruit you?
Yeah, that’s one thing that I like. I have to have a good relationship with a coach where we can talk about more than basketball.
What are some of the things you’re looking for in a school?
I want a good relationship with the coaching staff and with some of the players who are also coming in with me.
Are there any other guys you want to go to the same school as?
[Class of 2013 power forward] Julius Randle and [class of 2013 point guard] Kasey Hill. We have talked about all three of us going to some schools in particular but we all have a couple unique schools. Me and Julius have had a relationship since seventh grade and me and Kasey have been close since eighth grade going into freshman year. They always told me, ‘wherever you go Ish, we’re all going to go.’ They put it on me but I was like, ‘no, we’ll all sit down and talk about it.’
Are there any common schools you all like a lot?
Kentucky is one of the main schools and Kansas and I think Baylor. And Missouri too, Kasey likes Missouri but I didn’t think he liked them.
Who’s the favorite school between you three guys?
I’d have to say Kentucky is the number one school, I think Baylor — me and Julius like Baylor — but I don’t know if Kasey does, all I know is Kentucky is the main school.
Who’s the top school for each guy?
It would probably be between St. John’s and UCLA for me, I think Kasey would go to Florida and Julius would probably go to Kentucky.
Are there any college guys or anything like that recruiting you?
No, but I do have a cousin who goes to Mizzou, [senior guard] Marcus Denmon, and another close friend who goes to Mizzou, [junior guard] Michael Dixon, they’re always contacting me.
What type of playing system do you want to play in at college?
It doesn’t really matter, I’m used to playing a lot of different styles. I’m more of a slasher so I like dribble-drive.
Are there any other schools you want to visit?
I want to visit St. John’s… and Syracuse. They’re big schools and I’ve always wanted to check them out. They’re recruiting me hard too.
How has your transfer to Montrose helped you?
The studying really, at my old school we didn’t really have a study day. Here, we have to go to study hall every day. Tutors are there and it’s a good fit for me. On the court, they’ve helped me with my shot and I’m hitting the weight room.
How has it affected your recruitment?
Some of the coaches who have been in the gym I never really thought were interested in me like Georgetown and Villanova and George Washington. I never even knew they were interested but they’re in the gym like every day.
You mentioned how Montrose has helped you academically, what are you looking for in terms of academics in your potential college?
I like science a lot, a physical science or anything like that and I’ll be good.
What’s your favorite thing about playing basketball?
The people, being able to play with and against the top players in my class. And when you look up in the stands when you’re playing you just say, ‘wow.’
What’s the coolest thing you’ve gotten to do since you’re a highly rated basketball recruit?
I’d have to say sitting right behind the bench, like four seats, for college games. One specific one that I went to was at KU, I think it was KU versus Mizzou, and I was right behind the bench.
What’s your favorite basketball memory?
My first dunk in a game, it was a scrap for the ball and I just picked it up and took off and it was a two-hand dunk my seventh grade year when I was playing up in an eighth grade league.
What’s one thing people probably don’t know about you?
That I’m a pastor’s kid. It hasn’t really affected me that much it’s just that no one really knows.