Going back not long ago, Phenom Hoops introduced and talked on several occasions Isaiah Sy, who was playing at Combine Academy.  He was an intriguing prospect for sure with his 6’7 frame and shot-making ability, but he still went a bit under the radar.

But he has a story to share that I believe shares more about the hard work he has put in, taking advantage of the opportunity in front of him, and how it has paid off. With the landscape of high school and college basketball, things have certainly changed. But Sy has a story that should be heard, as there are still routes for players to take to achieve their dreams.

Here is our 1-on-1 with Sy and an update on his recruitment.

Phenom: What has this journey been like for you overall? Talk about the hard work that you have had to have and the mindset that you have built?
Sy: After going to Combine Academy, I had D1 looks but nobody wanted to give me a chance. I chose to go to Cloud County in Juco to prove to everybody what I can do and that I deserve an opportunity to play at the D1 level. My mindset was always the same, working while nobody was watching me and performing when I had the chance to.

Phenom: For players that have gone your route or have an option to, how has it helped you develop as a player and as a person?
Sy: I think there is no better route than Juco because it’s really a different mentality. Everybody wants to get out, so everyone is competing hard. Being around players who have the same mentality as me was what made me improve a lot.

Phenom:  Talk about the work you have put in while at Cloud and the competition?
Sy: I never worked as hard as I did at Cloud this year. Having the mentality that nobody is going to work harder than me was the key to success. Every early morning workout made me more confident about who I am as a player, and I have to give credit to my coaches for that because they really invested a lot of time in me. Playing in the Jayhawks conference was amazing, you’re playing against D1 players and prospects every Wednesday and Saturday. I loved it!

Phenom: What would you say to a younger generation that may be able to take a similar route like you, and have an opportunity to play at a high level down the road? What kind of mindset and what has this journey shown you?
Sy: You have to believe in yourself because nobody is going to do it for you. Being around the right people and believing that you will make it the key to this process. If I were a high school player and I could choose the route that I wanted, I would go JUCO because that’s where you will develop the most in a short amount of time. Playing against people who want the same scholarship that you want is what makes you improve.

Recruitment Update:

“Recruitment wise I had amazing visits to Idaho State, Winthrop, and Oregon State. I’m getting close to deciding and I appreciate all the coaches that recruited me and believed in me during this process. I’m excited to see what’s next!”

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