Syracuse Basketball: 4-star Donnie Freeman great fit at IMG, analysts say

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /
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IMG will prepare Donnie Freeman for college, beyond

In recent days, I was fortunate to catch up for a few minutes via telephone with Paul Biancardi, who is the recruiting director for ESPN.

Biancardi is extremely familiar with IMG and the NIBC, as he serves as an ESPN television analyst for numerous NIBC games throughout high-school basketball seasons.

Biancardi noted that IMG will provide Freeman with a tremendous base of resources, both athletically and academically. Freeman will have the opportunity to practice, day in and day out, against high-level competition, and he’ll also play against high-level competition in official games, given IMG’s place in the NIBC, with the Ascenders also annually playing top-flight teams in other showcase events.

“It’s a great testing ground” for Freeman in preparing for the collegiate level with Syracuse basketball and beyond, Biancardi says.

Athletically and skill-wise, Freeman fits the profile of IMG players and those around the NIBC.

Freeman, already, had been competing for St. John’s College High School in an ultra-competitive league, the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (“WCAC”), so Biancardi doesn’t think Donnie Freeman will have much of a physical adjustment as it pertains to moving to IMG and the NIBC.

In 2022-23, as a junior, Freeman helped lead St. John’s College High School to a 32-4 overall record, a national top-25 ranking, and the WCAC tournament title.

Last year, he received All-America honorable-mention accolades from MaxPreps, while being named to The Washington Post’s All-Met first team and the WCAC All-League first squad.

Clearly, Donnie Freeman was able to shine against top competition in the WCAC, and the same can be said in the latest AAU season.

This spring and summer, Freeman was excellent for the D.C.-based Team Takeover in Nike’s EYBL league. In the EYBL regular season, Team Takeover was one of the best squads in the 17U division.

What’s more, in early July, Freeman picked up honors from analysts and scouts for his play in helping guide Team Takeover to the 17U championship at the prestigious Peach Jam tournament.