Junior Efton Reid Ranked by ESPN as a Top 20 Recruit Nationwide

Seven-foot Steward junior Efton Reid humbly ducks his head as he walks through doors, the same way he humbly ducks his head when he talks about the multiple Division I coaches calling him nonstop with opportunities to play in their programs, his ESPN ranking as a top 20 recruit nationwide, or his invitation to try out for the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team.

Reid, a power forward on Steward’s boys basketball team, explained that he’ll make a college decision in the same way he chose to attend Steward and play for Coach Curt Kassab. He’s doing his research, paying attention to what the coaches are focused on, and assessing fit.

“Some coaches are only interested in you as a player, but Coach Kassab wanted to grow me as a young man,” Efton said. “That was really different. From the first time we met him, we trusted him and we knew Steward both the basketball program and the whole school was the perfect fit for me.”

Similarly, when asked what’s most important to him in the college recruiting process, Efton responded: “The relationship with the head coach that he’ll be honest with me and help me grow on and off the court — and that we feel at home at the school.”

The “we” Efton refers to is his family: mom, Maria, and his younger brother, Alex, a freshman at Atlee High School. Every collegiate coach who steps inside Steward’s gym, even those with national championships under their belts, knows they’re not just there to see Efton play, but to impress Mrs. Reid too.

When asked to describe the experience of being a DI recruit, Efton shared that while it’s an honor to see his hard work paying off, it’s also overwhelming. “I’ll be on the phone with one coach at 9 o’clock at night when I need to finish my homework, and another coach will be calling on the other line. But my mom, Coach Kassab, and I are just trying to take it one day at a time.”

Playing at Steward has helped Efton prepare for college play. “Coach Kassab has taught me so much to improve my game. It’s in the little details. It’s not just about putting the ball in the basket, but also about things like help side defense and hedging ball screens.”

Coach Kassab said, “There’s so much I could say about Efton, but the thing that’s most impressive is his drive to touch greatness, not only as a basketball player but also as a person. He’s like a sponge he just wants to learn. His growth over the last three years has just been remarkable.”

Efton agreed that he’s soaking up every minute of high school play to prepare for what’s to come in college. “I know playing in college will be different — the physicality, the system, the coaches, and the environment,” he said. “Coach Kassab has been preparing me for that next level, and my ultimate goal is to be able to play right away. I want to be in a program where I feel comfortable, because when I am, I play really well.”

Efton said he hopes to play as a power forward in college too, and describes himself as a “versatile four.” He said he doesn’t have a favorite style of play, and will adjust to the coach and the program. “I can play the transition game, run up and down the court, rebound, block shots,” he said. “Or I can play in a slower style, walk the ball up and play through sets. Or I can play four out, one in. It just depends on who I’m playing for and what the team needs.”

The Steward team, he said, has succeeded because of their chemistry and shared competitive streak. “When you vibe with someone off the court, and you have the same goals on the court, it blows everything up and makes everything much better.”

Is there anything Efton doesn’t like about basketball? His least favorite practice drill, he says, is charge off the corner.

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