Five-star forward Jarin Stevenson to decide on reclassification by June 9

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia recruiting target Jarin Stevenson is getting close to making a decision on whether or not to reclassify to the Class of 2023, and his deadline is coming up fast.

Stevenson, a 6-foot-10, 5-star power forward from Pittsboro, N.C., has been offered by UVA, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgetown and Missouri. Ranked as the No. 1 power forward in the nation in the Class of ‘24, Stevenson has expressed interest in reclassifying to the present ‘23 recruiting class, which means he would be joining a college program next month.

Virginia, for instance, has its incoming freshman class reporting to enroll in summer school in mid-June.

Stevenson told Inside Carolina’s Jaylen Harrell during the weekend that he will decide on the reclassification at the end of his school year, which is June 9.

“I’m very interested in taking that next step, getting to college and working on my game there, playing better competition,” Stevenson said. “Right now, I’m still deciding. It’s not 100 sure [that he will return to high school for another year]. There’s still a chance of me reclassing up, so I’m still deciding that.”

Should he decide to reclassify, he was asked how much playing time as a freshman might impact his decision.

“I think it’s definitely a role, an aspect in it,” Stevenson said. “But the main thing is to get better, get eyes on me, and take that next step, and then from there, make it to the NBA.”

Virginia is hopeful of landing Stevenson, who would be the highest-ranked prospect to sign with the Cavaliers since recruiting services developed that system. Stevenson is ranked No. 12 nationally by 247Sports.

His father, Jarod, who is also his coach at Seaforth HS, is high on Virginia, but Stevenson’s mom played at UNC and there is natural pressure on the Tar Heels to not allow such a prized recruit to escape Tobacco Road.

“Oh, it’s been great,” Jarod Stevenson told last week about the family’s association with UVA. “We’ve been up there a number of times on unofficial visits, and every time we’ve been there, Coach (Tony) Bennett has been great.

“We like everything he’s doing at Virginia, his Five Pillars and the way he develops players. We definitely like what he’s doing with the Virginia program.”

Coach Stevenson said one of the big factors in choosing a program will be how well the coaching staff develops players toward an NBA career, something that Bennett and his coaches have excelled at for several years.

“It has to be a coach that we trust that’s going to push [Jarin] and give him freedom, just to be able to show some of the things he can do,” Jarod Stevenson said. “That’s a big factor.”