Back before Kevin Huerter was leading the Atlanta Hawks in scoring during a Game 7 in the playoffs, the shooting guard was in high school trying to figure out what college program could help him achieve his NBA dream.
Then came recruitment with the University of Maryland and it became clear that the Terps had he was looking for. They were the answer.
“Just had the right mix of everything. Felt really comfortable with their coaching staff," Huerter told Scott Van Pelt on the SVPod.
Besides meshing well with the staff, Huerter was also appreciative of the interest Maryland showed in him from the beginning. As head coach Mark Turgeon noted, Huerter didn't always have the look of an NBA prospect as he was just 6'4" when the program first offered him a spot.
Yet as he grew and continued to excel, more interest came. That was great, but Huerter never forgot who was there first.
“They heard about me first. I hadn’t got a lot of interest until I started that AAU season after my junior year," Huerter said. "That’s where all the interest picked up, and Maryland had already been there.”
In addition to that, there were plenty of other factors that helped lead Huerter to Maryland. The location was ideal, as it was not too far away from his home state meaning family could visit. College Park was also near a major city in Washington D.C., something he enjoyed.
The major partnership with Under Armour and all the free swag that came with it didn't hurt, either.
If Maryland needed anything else to sell Huerter, an event during his visit helped seal the deal. Attending a football game in the fall, he saw just how big basketball was on campus.
“For me at the time, it was like, Maryland is a basketball school. Football is great, we all want football to win. But for me it was like, we went to a football game during my visit and it was like people are leaving the stands to come to get in line to meet all of us," Huerter said. "I was a recruit and I was like, ‘This is pretty cool.’”
Seeing the passion for basketball at the school and pairing it with a program that was committed to giving him an opportunity to succeed made Maryland the right choice. When it came time to take the next step, one that would help him blossom into a first-round pick, Huerter knew he wanted to be a Terp.
“So just had the right mix of everything, it felt like home," Huerter said.