Syracuse Basketball: Prolific-scoring recruit nears 5 stars and eyes NIBC

Syracuse basketball (Syndication: The Daily Record)
Syracuse basketball (Syndication: The Daily Record) /

Syracuse basketball 2025 four-star priority target Jerry Easter II from Ohio was an All-American as a sophomore and is off to a hot start on the AAU circuit this spring.

The 6-foot-4 guard recently vaulted into the top 25 across the country in his class, according to one of the primary recruiting services.

After two All-American seasons at the Emmanuel Christian School in Toledo, Ohio, a recent media report says that Easter will head somewhere else for his junior year in the 2023-24 campaign, with a likely destination being the loaded 10-member National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (“NIBC”).

This spring, the consensus top-50 Easter is competing up a division in grassroots basketball for the 17U team of the Columbus, Ohio-based All Ohio Red in Nike’s EYBL league.

When the EYBL held its second of two live periods toward the end of April at Legacy Park in Mesa, Ariz., Easter averaged 17.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, earning All-Event third-team honors from The Circuit.

Four-star guard Jerry Easter II speaks highly of Syracuse basketball.

The main recruiting Web sites deem Easter as a top-50 national prospect and a top-10 point guard/shooting guard in the 2025 class.

However, when ESPN updated its national rankings for the sophomore cycle not too long ago, Easter arrived as No. 22 overall and No. 5 at point guard, putting him only two placements away from five-star status there.

In the 2022-23 term, as a sophomore for Emmanuel Christian, Easter averaged 32.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 3.5 steals per game and was named a second-team All-American in the 2025 class by MaxPreps.

Easter was a first-team freshman All-American at Emmanuel Christian, according to MaxPreps, during the 2021-22 stanza.

Syracuse basketball coaches offered Easter last July, and it was the first offer made by the squad to a 2025 prospect.

His extensive offer sheet also includes groups such as St. John’s, Illinois, Southern California, Louisville, Memphis, Michigan State, Ohio State, Mississippi State, Mike Hopkins-led Washington, UCLA, Cincinnati, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Arizona State, Missouri, New Mexico State, Bowling Green, Morgan State, Northern Illinois, Oakland, Toledo and Cleveland State.

Reports have suggested that Easter may be looking to take a visit to the Hill at some point, and that would be a key for the ‘Cuse coaching staff if it hopes to win out for this prolific-scoring guard.

As far as the 2023-24 campaign, Steve Junga of The Toledo Blade recently reported that Easter would not be returning to Emmanuel Christian and is hoping to suit up in the NIBC.

The NIBC, most high-school hoops experts would agree, is perhaps the most prestigious high-school basketball conference nationwide, with its members including top-flight independent basketball academies and prep schools.

Not too long ago, the NIBC announced that the powerhouse Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., would be joining this league, while the Bishop Walsh School in Cumberland, Md., is leaving it. That leaves the NIBC with 10 members.

In the 2023 GEICO Nationals, five of the eight squads invited were from the NIBC.

Syracuse basketball freshman point guard Judah Mintz, who is testing the 2023 NBA Draft waters while maintaining his college eligibility, and freshman small forward Chris Bell both played in the NIBC while at the Oak Hill Academy from Mouth of Wilson, Va., and the Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah, respectively.

Looking ahead to 2023-24, at least two ‘Cuse targets are expected to compete in the NIBC. Kiyan Anthony, a 2025 four-star shooting guard offered by the Orange last November, will be a junior at NIBC member Long Island Lutheran High School in Brookville, N.Y.

Additionally, 2024 four-star point guard Curtis Givens III will be a senior at NIBC squad Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla. Givens was offered by Syracuse basketball coaches this past February.

NIBC teams are often on broadcasts from the ESPN family of networks, so if Easter does end up moving to this super league, it will undeniably bring him increased exposure on a national scale.

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