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Grand Rapids Christian star ponders pandemic's effects on recruitment

Eagles junior Kobe Bufkin already has nine offers but wonders if more would have came if the season was finished.

Make no mistake, Kobe Bufkin was excited to meet Michigan head coach Juwan Howard. Just not as much as his mom and dad.  

“My household was big on the Fab Five,” explains Bufkin.  “It was a good experience for my family who was more excited than I was.”

It ended up alright for Bufkin too. A few weeks after that unofficial visit to Ann Arbor, the Grand Rapids Christian Junior received an offer from the Wolverines. His total number of offers (including one from Michigan State) is nine and for a while, Bufkin thought he had the recruiting process down to a science.

“They usually reach out to you, and then invite you to the campus to try and sell you on what they’re doing and how they’re building as a program,” said Bufkin. “Then you just make your decision from there.”

But now, thanks to the pandemic, the game has changed.

Bufkin can’t meet with anyone face to face nor take official visits. He still can have contact with coaches but it’s not the same.

“We had a couple face-times,” Bufkin says. “There’s really not much you can do because you can’t have any physical contact." 

While the 6-4 guard knows he’s going to be alright, he admits there’s a side of him that wonders if these circumstances are costing him additional opportunities.  

“Obviously with the AAU season not being here, I don’t know if I would have missed anything,” he admits. “It’s just that speculation of not knowing what you could have got if you would have had that extra time to play.”

It’s something he can’t control but what he can control is deciding where he’ll go to school. He’s still weighing his options and says little by little, he’s getting closer to figuring it out.  

“I’m fine where I’m at,” he says. "Just taking my time and seeing where other people go and base it off what I want to do."

It’s a unique situation for an equally unique player. 

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