By Joseph Staszewski
Bringing Rawle Alkins to St. John’s is going to be a white-knuckle recruiting battle with some of the nation’s top programs and destinations. It makes landing Alkins’ Rens travel ball teammate Mustapha Heron that much more important.
The two have talked about what it would be like to play in college together despite being similar players. Heron called the two interchangeable physically. Both will do what’s best for them, but didn’t rule out that meaning being on the same team.
“I think it is very realistic, but it is whatever is best for you,” Heron said. “If that is the best fit for both of us, then we’ll do that”.
Bringing Heron to Queens is what is best for St. John’s. He is a great player in his own right and could be a key to landing Alkins, the No. 15 ranked prospect in the country by Rivals. His presence would soften the blow if the former Christ the King star chooses not to come.
Alkins is a 6-foot-4 small forward and the duo is already considered one of the top pairs in the country. Heron believes that they could continue that at the next level. St. John’s is the only school the two have in common.
“From a physical standpoint, the stronger we get going into college, we would be the strongest backcourt in college,” Heron said.
The 6-foot-5 Connecticut shooting guard is the No. 19 ranked prospect in the nation by Rivals and a main target of St. John’s coach Chris Mullin and his staff. He and assistants Barry Rohrssen and Matt Abdelmassih were all at the the Adidas Uprising All-American Camp to watch him play last weekend. The Red Storm are in his final seven along with Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, SMU, Marquette and Maryland.
Alkins scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the Adidas Uprising all-star game at Rucker Park last week. Heron had 20 points and 11 boards.
Heron plans on making his decision in late November as he starts his senior season at Sacred Heart (Conn.). St. John’s has a good chance of landing Heron because of his father Bryan’s close relationship with Rohrssen. The two played professional basketball overseas and Rohrssen is a family friend.
Heron said that relationship will have an impact and that St. John’s is a place he feels close to and it would be nice to be at home. If he is in Queens, Heron plans on doing his part to get Alkins there too.
“We will definitely be talking,” he said. “I’m going to support him and wish him luck wherever he goes and if we end up together that would be great.”
Alkins has offers from the likes of Kentucky, North Carolina and Indiana, among others. He downplayed the idea of he and Heron playing together, but admitted the two have discussed it.
“Me and Mustapha at the end of the day are going to have to do what’s best for us,” Alkins said. “He’s in the same position as me.”
St. John’s is pitching to him that he can be the king of New York if he lands in Jamaica. Making Heron part of his potential court could make the idea of claiming that throne more appealing.