Following a month packed to the brim with basketball, 2013 Mishawaka (Ind.) Penn guard Leo Svete isn’t ready to slow down just yet.
Svete spoke with Penn State head coach Pat Chambers earlier this week.
Beginning in April, Svete was part of the US Select Elite team to take home third place in Italy, in a tournament featuring U19 teams from all over the world.
“We opened up in front of 16,000 people, and the fans were chanting in different languages, it was crazy,” the 6-foot-5 guard explained. “Playing against more physical and older guys helped my game a lot, especially because the refs weren’t calling anything. When I came back the next AAU tournament I played so much stronger and harder.”
Following the trip to Milan, the Indiana native picked up right where he left off, starting play with the fourth-ranked Eric Gordon All Stars, one of the premier AAU teams in the country. Playing alongside Big Ten commits Zavier Turner (Purdue), Zak Irvin (Michigan), Collin Hartman and Devin Davis (Indiana), in addition to V.J. Beachum (Notre Dame) and to four-star lineman Darius Latham has only improved the uncommitted junior’s game.
“I love playing with these high caliber players in AAU because it only makes me elevate my game and helps me get better every day.”
In speaking with EG coach Ryan Owen, the assistant praised Svete’s work ethic and ability to adapt to different situations.
“Leo is probably the best pure shooter on our team, and that’s saying something,” Owen said. “He is a natural leader with a big time, high-major stroke, and one of the hardest working 17-year-olds I've ever met.”
With so much talent to go around, the coaches don’t have much of a set rotation and usually go eight or nine guys deep, depending on the game and matchups.
“He plays a big-time role in every game for us,” said Owen of the 185-pound guard. “He’s a great team defender, there are a lot of kids out there right now who don’t like to talk on defense, but as a coach we love when Leo is out there because he is always out there calling out ball screens and coordinating the defense.”
Svete has reeled in two offers in recent weeks from Tulsa and Wofford, and recently heard from LSU, Mississippi State, Creighton, Florida, Boston College, and Northwestern. Earlier this week, Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers gave Svete a call, and the two seemed to hit it off.
“What impressed me so much about Coach Chambers was how much he knew about me,” Svete admitted. “I mean he knew about my Italy trip, he knew about a bunch of articles written about me, it just didn’t seem like it was the first time I had spoken to him.”
While an earlier trip to State College fell through, Svete maintains he will make it out to Penn State in the near future.
“I really want to get out there and check out campus. It was great talking to Coach Chambers, he liked my winning mentality, and he loves how hard I play.”
A few weeks removed from losing their first game of the season, the Eric Gordon All Stars still have more than half of the AAU schedule left to play. Looking forward, Svete and his teammates have high expectations for the rest of the season, and don’t want to slow down.
“We want to finish the year as the number one ranked AAU team in the country. We don’t want to lose any more games, and we can get back on track starting this weekend.”