As a high school senior he has been in Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post and made an appearance on The Today Show. College basketball coaches from around the country know him, or know of him and he has over 20,000 followers on Twitter.
But Alex Kline is not a basketball player.
“I’d say I’m more of a recruiting analyst,” Kline said.
Kline runs TheRecruitScoop.com, and his Twitter feed, @TheRecruitScoop. He’s been called the “world’s first teenage recruit guru” by Sports Illustrated. And on Saturday, May 5, he will be hosting the second annual Mary Kline Classic, in honor of his mother who passed away from cancer seven years ago.
The all-star game debuted last year, with 20 regional high school seniors heading to college competing in the event.
“Obviously when you’re starting a new event like that, anything in general, you’re going to need to market it properly,” Kline said. “It was pretty nerve racking.”
This time around things have been much easier. More than 50 basketball players will participate. Along with the senior game, Kline has introduced an underclassmen game, dunk contest and three-point contest.
His goal is to raise over $10,000 this year, and one day get the event near the level of the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic, two of the premier high school all-star games.
“That’s when it really got to a good point, because you could bring in guys who weren’t limited [by all-star game restrictions],” Kline said about the underclassmen game.
“I don’t want to compare it to the McDonald’s or Jordan game, but I want to get it on a similar level, where players from all over the country and all over the world […] they just want to be a part of it,” he added.
Among those participating are three players projected to be the future of the Temple Owls. Forward Daniel Dingle and wing player Quenton DeCosey, both signed to Temple, will be playing for the Red Seniors team, while point guard Josh Brown is on the Red Underclassmen team.
Along with playing for a cause like cancer research, DeCosey and Dingle are excited to get to know each other on the court before they spend the next four years on North Broad together.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity, just to see how he plays on the court, what he brings to the game,” DeCosey said.
“I’ve heard great things about Quenton,” Dingle said. “Maybe playing together will give us some type of chemistry for the next level when we play with each other at Temple.”
Both players expect to contribute in some fashion during their freshman year. Kline, who has watched both all of the players invited to the Mary Kline Classic, expects Dingle to play one of the forward positions.
“Whatever they don’t have I’m going to try my best and work hard and give them what they need to be successful and make another run at the tournament,” Dingle said.
Kline described DeCosey as an “elite scorer” who lacks consistency. He said that DeCosey, who is considering competing in the dunk contest, was a “big talking point” between him and coach Fran Dunphy.
“I think both of them are going to the right level.” Kline said. “Those two are definitely going to make an impact sooner or later.”
Dingle also has the added excitement of being a New York kid playing in the Big East in 2013.
“As a kid being from New York you always want to play in the Big East,” he said.
Kline said that Brown “loves” Temple and expects him to commit to the Owls when the time comes.
Kline functions as a go-between for coaches and players, providing coaches with information on players they’re interested in or trying to learn more about. His work also helps those players who go under the radar, getting them recognition and a scholarship offer.
His four years of Tweeting and reporting on recruits, and his relationship with what he says is 85 percent of Division I basketball programs propelled him to start the Mary Kline Classic. Coordination of the event is mostly a one-man show, but he has volunteers. He’s even landed multiple sponsors for this year’s event, including Nike.
Kline targeted specific players, focusing on high-character athletes who have a good background and genuinely want to support the cause.
“This year we specifically selected guys who had really good families and coaches around them,” Kline said.
But this event isn’t about recruits and scholarships for Kline, and he doesn’t want it to be for the players either.
“Throw rankings out the door, throw college recruitment out the door, and just enjoy it,” Kline said. “We want this to be something that they remember when they’re off in college or later in life.”
Jake Adams can be reached at email@example.com.