Illini extend offer to Griffin

CHAMPAIGN — Zion Griffin’s recruitment had just one school involved at one point this past spring: Division II St. Cloud State. The rising senior at Hinsdale South added a few low-major Division I offers after the April evaluation period, and the mid-major programs started getting involved earlier this month.

Griffin’s recruitment has hit another level with the final July evaluation period coming to a close Sunday. The 6-foot-5, three-star small forward added an Illinois offer to his list early Sunday afternoon to go with an Iowa State offer last week and seven other high major programs interested according to City/Suburban Hoops Report’s Joe Henricksen.

The spike in Griffin’s recruitment has come alongside his level of play against some of the top AAU programs in the country this month. Suiting up for Illinois Hoopers, Griffin averaged nearly 30 points per game last week in a tournament in St. Louis playing against Nike EYBL programs The City Rocks, Boo Williams and Howard Pulley.

Griffin hit 9 of 14 three-pointers and put up 42 points and 11 rebounds against Howard Pulley last week in St. Louis. He added a 25-point performance against the EYBL’s PSA Cardinals in Kansas City this week.

Some of Griffin’s other current offers include Missouri Valley Conference teams Illinois State, Missouri State, Southern Illinois, Drake and Loyola Chicago. He’s coming off a junior senior at Hinsdale South where he averaged 17.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game and was an honorable mention News-Gazette All-State selection.

Griffin joins a growing list of 2018 wings targeted by new Illinois coach Brad Underwood. Also on the Illini’s radar are in-state prospects Tim Finke (Champaign Central) and Talen Horton-Tucker (Simeon), Indiana native Aaron Henry, Texan Kaden Archie and another fast riser in Jericole Hellems out of St. Louis.Griffin and Henry are two of the three Class of 2018 recruits offered by Illinois this week. The third, Cincinnati, Ohio, product Jaxson Hayes, is a 6-10 center.

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