While Ohio State was hosting a few dozen high school teams from across the region for the second day of its boys basketball team camp, the men’s basketball coaching staff was busy on multiple fronts.

With games taking place on the main court at Value City Arena as well as both practice gyms, the Buckeyes hosted 2019 four-star power forward prospect E.J. Liddell on an unofficial visit.

In the parking lot preparing for the six-hour drive home to Belleville, Illinois, Liddell said his first trip to Ohio State was important.

“They’ve been really making me a priority and I’ve loved Ohio State since I was a kid,” he said. “I used to be a chubby kid so I thought I’d be a football player and play football here. I’ve always loved Ohio State because of the culture and how good they’ve been in basketball and football for a long time. I wouldn’t have come up here if I didn’t really feel like a priority. They’re prioritizing me and said they love their versatile forwards.”

Listed at 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, Liddell holds more than a dozen scholarship offers, including one from the Buckeyes. He will head to Virginia for the NBAP Top 100 camp June 12-17 before spending July playing AAU basketball with planned trips to Las Vegas and the Peach Jam.

After that, he’ll cut down his list of potential schools with a plan of signing during the early period of his senior season. Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann’s pursuit has helped keep the Buckeyes in the running.

“They talk to me all the time,” Liddell said. “Coach Holtmann takes time out of his day and they always text me every single day. They don’t miss a beat and they always make me feel welcome.”

While on campus, Liddell said he got to take in a wide-reaching view.

“When we first walked in we got to see all the facilities, the basketball gym, the practice facility,” he said. “We got to go around the campus and see some of the academic places. Then we went to the top of the library and looked out and we saw the whole campus and the city and everything.”

The Buckeyes have a commitment from four-star forward Alonzo Gaffney of Garfield Heights in the 2019 class. Liddell presents a different skill set and could be used in tandem with Gaffney.

“I’ve seen him play a lot and he’s more of a spaced-out type of guy on the wing and I’m more of an inside guy,” Liddell said. “We both could switch positions and I could go out on the wing and he could go in the post also. They said we would fit each other really well.”

247Sports ranks Liddell as the No. 61 overall prospect in the country, the No. 11 power forward and No. 2 overall prospect from Illinois. The 6-9, 190-pound Gaffney is Ohio’s top prospect, the No. 7 small forward in the nation and the No. 29 overall prospect.

Liddell has taken unofficial visits to Illinois, Missouri, Kansas State and Iowa and said he might take another sometime soon to Northwestern. As he tries to decide on a school, Liddell said he’s looking at a few key criteria.

“I need to have a strong relationship with the coach because I don’t know how many years I’m going to be (in college),” he said. “It might be one year, it might be two years, but I just need to get the best feeling and fit into the system really well. (Also) having that home feeling. I need to come (to college) and have an impact. That’s what I really want to do.”