The rise of D.J. McCall's interest from Division I basketball programs has not been as speedy as his rise to the hoop for a slam dunk, but it is slowly gaining altitude.
The Concordia Lutheran senior-to-be recently received his first offer from Chicago State, with several more mid-major schools showing interest.
He hopes to add to the list this summer while playing AAU for the Indiana Fire.
“There are quite a few schools showing interest like Wright State, Ball State, IUPUI, UMKC and Gardner-Webb,” said McCall Friday on the first day of the Memorial Day Run-n-Slam in Fort Wayne. “A lot of them want to get me on campus.”
The Indiana Fire is made up primarily of players from the area in general and the SAC in particular. Winter foes from Snider, North Side and Northrop become teammates for a few months in the spring and summer.
“We practice a lot on our transition game,” McCall said of his AAU squad. “We kind of don't have the size that we want so we have to make up for it with our passing and speed.
“Everybody on the team is unselfish, everybody can run and everybody can dribble, so it's easy.”
McCall was a big part of the Cadets' run to the Class 3A championship game this past season, but will return next season as one of the few experienced players after graduation guts the roster. He hopes this summer's tough competition with the Indiana Fire helps him grow into a better all-around player not just to gain more notice from colleges but also fill a void for the Cadets.
“There were times in the season where I could hit (outside shots) but I just need to be more consistent to keep defenders honest,” McCall said. “I also think sometimes I show spurts of good defense, but I just want to develop into a known defender.”
The 6-foot-5 McCall has the skills to get to the basket and the physicality to bang inside, but his true home at the college level will be on the perimeter. Colleges have told him they project him as a point guard or a wing at the next level.
Wherever colleges want him, McCall will be happy to accommodate.
“Whatever they need me to do I will do it,” McCall said.