Scholarship offers coming in for Arizona middle-schooler

You won’t hear Marvin Bagley III talk up his game or toot his own horn. That’s for others to do.

And that is almost unavoidable — even though Bagley is just 14 years old.

But being 6-feet-7 ½ inches tall and smooth on the basketball court has helped him get scholarship offers to nearby Arizona State and another from Northern Arizona, just up the road from his hometown of Phoenix.

Bagley won’t be making any decision on a college soon. He still has to get ready for eighth grade in a couple of months.

“Kids to be offered this young is an honor and is exciting but kids who would commit as a freshman or even younger are just too young to make such a big decision,” said Bagley’s father, Marvin Jr. “We’ll keep our options open and enjoy that entire recruiting experience. It helps you get a better knowledge of the overall (recruiting) picture.”

Bagley, who attends South Valley Prep, visited the University of Arizona on Tuesday. It looks like there will be a long line of visits in his future.

The No. 1 thing, the elder Bagley said, was “to get (his son) better and focus on weakness and make them a strength. It’s about development.”

So far, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind for the family and more specifically young Marvin, a lefty who towers over those in his age group in both size and ability, based on what can be seen on YouTube (approaching 200,000 views). He will be playing with players three to four years older this summer for Arizona Power, an AAU team based in Phoenix but featuring kids from all over. He’ll also play for a summer league team based out of Nashville for the seventh grade national championships later this month.

“A whirlwind is a pleasant way to describe it,” his father said. “We expect our kids to be successful in what they are doing. We all were hoping for a scholarship, but that was further down the road … Junior, senior year if you’re lucky. It’s exciting but unexpected.

“It’s going to be a long road, and we’re focused on getting Marvin better.”

Sundance Wicks, Arizona Power’s U17 coach, said that despite the attention — some of it enhanced by Marvin Jr.’s social media savvy — all the principals have remained level-headed concerning young Marvin.

“They know you can’t skip steps in the process of development,” Wicks said. “And that’s regardless if you’re No. 1 or whatever … If they saw him getting complacent or a big head they’d be the first to get him back to fundamentals. But that’s what makes him so special. He has a high work ethic as well as talent.”

Marvin’s father is 6-foot-6 and played football at North Carolina A&T; his mother stands 6-0. His grandfather is former Arizona State great and NBA star “Jumpin’ ” Joe Caldwell.

Marvin Jr. pleads guilty to being a proud parent in playing a role in publicizing his son’s accomplishments: “It’s modern technology that allows people to see him and know about him.

“If he does something we think people should see or something happens that we feel is worth publication, I may put it on Twitter or Facebook,” he said. “But for the most part if people think or say he’s the No. 1 player in the class … if he sees it on his own — we don’t bring it to his attention. He’s extremely humble.”

John Ortega, Arizona Power’s U16 coach, said Bagley is the best player he’s ever coached at this age, and he’s been coaching for 15 years.

“He’s got the full package, good size and left-handed,” Ortega said. “As far as level-headed? He hears things, but he’s the first guy in the gym, and you have to practically throw him out. He wants to be the best, but you’ll never hear him say that.”