Chucky Hepburn already has a long list of achievements.
The Bellevue West star made first-team All-Nebraska after his sophomore season. He’s the No. 1 player in the state for the 2021 recruiting rankings. He has multiple scholarship offers from power-conference schools, including Creighton and Nebraska.
But there is more to do, and he has one weekend left of summer basketball before he embarks on his junior year of high school.
“I feel like I accomplished a lot by putting myself and name out there more and getting myself better physically,” Hepburn said.
June was a good month for the 6-foot-1, 190-pound point guard. He added scholarship offers from Creighton, Minnesota and Wisconsin. More schools are showing interest, too.
UCLA assistant Michael Lewis — who recruited Hepburn while he was on Tim Miles’ staff at Nebraska — has been in contact. Hepburn has also heard from Arizona State, California, Iowa, Oregon, Purdue, Stanford, TCU, Holy Cross and Loyola-Chicago.
“It boosted my confidence and helped me realize that I am on the map,” Hepburn said. “Coaches are starting to get involved, and it just makes me want to work harder and keep getting in the gym.”
Hepburn had his first face-to-face meeting with Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg on June 15, when he took an unofficial visit to Lincoln. The relationship is growing.
“It’s been a good relationship with (Husker assistant Armon) Gates,” Hepburn said, “and Coach Hoiberg does reach out every so often.”
Gates is the lone holdover from the previous coaching staff, and he is the lead recruiter for Hepburn.
“We talk about how my family is doing and things outside of basketball,” Hepburn said. “I trust him.”
Hepburn also trusts the coaches from Creighton, which he said was one of his “dream schools” growing up — along with Oregon. Though the Bluejays just offered him last month, they’ve been recruiting Hepburn awhile.
Hepburn said he will likely take another unofficial visit to Creighton on Aug. 1 before the Bluejays leave for their summer trip to Australia.
“I have a relationship with all the coaches, but (assistant Paul) Lusk and (coach Greg) McDermott are the main ones recruiting me,” Hepburn said. “Coach McDermott and I talk probably once or twice a week. ... Our relationship is a good one. We can talk about stuff outside of basketball.”
But Hepburn isn’t just interested in the homestate schools.
Wisconsin offered him after he attended its elite camp in June. Hepburn said the campus is beautiful and liked how the practice facility is inside the basketball arena.
Wisconsin coach Greg Gard watched Hepburn and his AAU teammates multiple times at the Under Armour Rise Championships in Atlanta earlier this month.
“They told me they really like how I play, and they compared me to Jordan Taylor,” Hepburn said, referring to the former Badger All-American. “I didn’t start talking to them until May of this year, but (assistant Joe) Krabbenhoft was in contact with (my high school coach) for about six months.”
In the same weekend Hepburn visited Wisconsin, he also took an unofficial visit to Minnesota. He left with an offer.
“I haven’t talked to (coach Richard) Pitino since I visited them, but I have a good relationship with (assistant Rob) Jeter,” Hepburn said. “He gives me good feedback after he watches me play and is always the first one to text me before and after a game with some encouragement or what he thinks I need to work on.”
And there’s another coach with local connections recruiting Hepburn. Former Creighton player Porter Moser is working to get Loyola-Chicago to the top of Hepburn’s list.
“I’ve been talking with Loyola-Chicago about taking an unofficial visit sometime in August,” Hepburn said.