Dominiq Penn has long considered himself among the nation’s top basketball players in his class. Last week, thanks to a surprise phone call, he got the chance to again prove it.
The junior-to-be at Dublin Coffman spent Thursday through Sunday in St. Louis as a participant in the Nike Elite 100 camp on the campus of Saint Louis University. Penn, who was listed at 5 feet 11 and 158.6 pounds on the camp roster, said it was a “really fun” experience.
“I got to play against the top kids in the country,” he said. “I had the chance to show my talent and what I can do against the best guards in the country, and I feel as good as those guards or better. Some NBA players were there, former players, and great coaching. I got to learn a lot from them. It was a great experience.”
Penn said he learned from former NBA player Rasheed Wallace and was coached by one of Kyrie Irving’s former coaches. There were drills and stations before the participants played three games per session, and after multiple sessions players played six or seven games per day.
“It meant a lot,” Penn said of being selected. “It felt like I have improved and it motivated me to work even harder. I want to make sure I keep it up and get invited to more camps like that in the years coming.”
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Among the campers, Penn said he got to know Zion Harmon, a 2021 point guard prospect from Benton (Kentucky) Marshall County, and Sharife Cooper, a four-star point 2020 guard prospect from Marietta (Georgia) McEachern.
He also landed a scholarship offer from Saint Louis, adding to a list that also includes Ohio State, Kent State, Duquesne and Stony Brook.
“It was out of the blue,” Penn said. “I had no idea I was going to get an offer or anything. It was at the end of the camp. I had to go to the dorm, pack up, take a shower and get ready to go. I get in the car and my teammates’ coach told me and my teammate that the head coach of Saint Louis (Travis Ford) wanted to talk to us.
“I assumed he was watching us when we were at the camp. He said he loved my game and felt like I’m one of the best guys in the country and he wanted to recruit me really hard and he offered me and he wants to get to know me more and talk to me. It really was great because I wasn’t expecting that all. I’m really blessed and happy about it.”
Since Penn received his scholarship offer from Ohio State, the Buckeyes have offered another Ohio point guard for the class of 2020: Zeb Jackson from Maumee Valley Country Day School. Penn is a four-star recruit and Jackson is unranked in the 247Sports rankings, and although detailed rankings for the 2020 class are still rare, ohhoops.com ranks Jackson as the No. 9 prospect in the state — one spot ahead of Penn.
Penn said he was excited to hear about Jackson’s offer considering the two have known each other since third grade.
“I know him very well,” he said. “We were (AAU) teammates last year, but he left the team. I was happy for him, for sure. That’s my guy. He’s a great player.”
Michigan State, Michigan, Xavier and Louisville are among the schools to also reach out and get in touch since the Buckeyes offered, Penn said. He talks with Ohio State “all the time,” he said, and he visits often because of his proximity and his dad, Scoonie Penn, being the team’s director of player development.
Penn said the thought of his son potentially playing at a Big Ten rival doesn’t bother his dad, an Ohio State hall-of-fame basketball player.
“He’s very cool with that,” Dom Penn said. “He wants me to go where I feel comfortable. He just wants to make sure it’s best for me; it doesn’t matter where I go.”