Vijay Blackmon is relishing his AAU season. Playing for the Spiece Indy Heat's 15U squad, he is getting the chance to be the star, instead of playing second fiddle to his brother.
During his freshman season at Bishop Luers, Vijay Blackmon often found himself differing to his older brother, James Blackmon Jr., a soon-to-be senior. This isn't the case when Vijay's AAU team is filled with players his same age, where his skill level and ability to score makes him one of the top recruits for the Class of 2016.
“Playing with him (James), I just have to let the game come to me,” Vijay Blackmon said. “As far as here (AAU), I can be a little bit more aggressive and look to shoot more.
“I'm just trying to get better and compete every game. I'm one of the main scorers on my team, so when I get a chance to play, I like to play hard.”
While playing at the Bill Hensley Memorial Run-N-Slam at Spiece Fieldhouse over the weekend, Vijay Blackmon put his scoring ability on display right from the beginning. In his very first game, he hit four 3-pointers en route to scoring 16 points.
It's an uptick from his production in high school, where he averaged 12.5 points and 2.5 assist a game. It's easy to see why his scoring shoots up when he isn't playing with his brother, as James Blackmon Jr. averaged 33 points a game for Bishop Luers this past season.
Still, playing with his brother is something Vijay Blackmon is used to, and could be doing beyond the next season in high school. While the Blackmon brothers will travel to Marion with their father, who has taken over as the head coach, Vijay's only scholarship offer so far comes from the very school James has committed to – Indiana.
“I just want to go somewhere that's good for me,” Vijay Blackmon said. “IU is really good for my brother, but I just want to go somewhere good for me.”
This early scholarship offer has put Indiana in the early lead as far Vijay's recruitment, the 6-foot-1 guard said. He also has drawn interest from Purdue and Notre Dame. He visited Notre Dame this past season when the Irish beat eventual national champion Louisville in five overtimes.
While Vijay and James have a lot of similarities, Vijay hasn't made a timetable for when and where he may commit, unlike his brother who committed as a freshman to the Hoosiers.
“I haven't really thought about it,” Vijay Blackmon said. “I just want to play over the summer, and hopefully I can get more options.”
With it being so early in his high school career, it seems almost a certainty Vijay's stock will continue to rise and the offers will increase. For now, though, he's just enjoying being the leading man.
“I'm more confident with my scoring ability, just being aggressive,” Vijay Blackmon said. “I feel like I can score a lot in these games.”