What can you get by playing, on average, about 1 minute per game for your high school basketball team as a sophomore?
A Division I scholarship, apparently.
But there are a couple catches.
First off, college basketball programs continue to put greater emphasis on value players’ offseason AAU performance and progress, where standouts play against other standouts. And Lakeville North junior shooting guard JP Macura has been strutting his offseason skills as well as anyone on Minnesota’s Pump N Run squad. See for yourself in this highlight video.
As for the playing time issue, Macura was a talented sophomore buried on a bench consisting of 10 seniors who led the Panthers to a 30-2 mark in 2011-12, finishing state runner-up in Class 4A.
Now? Macura believes he has nine D-I offers awaiting him. It could also be 10, he added.
And the 2012-2013 season has been generous to the sharp-shooting 6-foot-4-inch guard.
Here are nine things you need to know about this mid-major prospect who eyes playing in the Big Ten.
1 – He used to be a three-sport athlete before specializing
I played baseball and football until ninth grade. I quit them because I decided to focus on one sport to see how good I can get at it.
2 – How nice is having grandpa Jan double as your No. 1 fan?
He lives right by the high school and walks to my games. He calls me after every game, even if it’s an away game and can’t make it. He’ll say “Good job,” even though he wasn’t there.
3 – What’s it like being one of the state’s top 10 scorers after not playing much at all last year?
I’m definitely pleased with the way I’ve been scoring. But it’s not all about me. The game I scored 39 points was a game we lost. It’s about balancing the scoring and getting the ball out to my teammates.
4 – How tough was losing the Class 4A title game by two points to Osseo last year?
I felt it for all 10 seniors. They had been playing together since they were in sixth grade. My older brother, David, was on the team.
5 – How crucial is playing for Minnesota Pump N Run in the offseason for your development?
It shows colleges that you can go out and play, playing with high-level basketball with guys in the same level in the state who are also going to Division I schools across the nation.
6 – How did the first Division I scholarship offer feel?
I was very surprised when I got my first offer (from Wyoming during summer 2012). I didn’t know if it would come that soon, or at all. I’d been trying to get a scholarship for a long time.
7 – Who do you have full-rides from?
North Dakota State, North Dakota, University of South Dakota, Wyoming, Northern Colorado, Vermont, Milwaukee, Utah State, and Toledo.
But I really want to get some Big Ten offers. That’s what I really hope for. I’m just going see if I have a good AAU season. I want to commit before my senior year of basketball, to get that out of the way.
8 – You get to work for a Bounce House?
My family owns one, and when my brother does it, I help out and make a few bucks.
9 – Favorite…
Movie: “I Am Legend.” I’ve seen it 10 times.
TV show: “SportsCenter.” But last year it would have been “SpongeBob SquarePants.”