Yaxel Lendeborg calls it a Joke.

He can Do this now. Now that the 6-foot-8, 215-pound junior school All-American is on The completely different facet of it. Now that the 2023 prospect has found The purpose and course he mightn’t discover in Highschool, the place he amassed solely 11 video recreations of varsity basketball expertise. Now that the Arizona Western College star has dozens of Division I coaches – Memphis’ Penny Hardamethod amongst them – clamoring for his providers.

However Lendeborg’s story wasn’t On A daily basis humorous. Born in Puerto Rico, he transferd Collectively with his mcompletely different, Yissel Raposo, to Cincinnati when he was 3 yrs previous, then transferd to Pennsauken, New Jersey, when he was 8. Baseball was his Old flame, as a Outcome of it was his grandfather’s ardour, However it was clear early on that he was reduce out for basketball.

Not everyone noticed it that method.

“I didn’t make the basketball group till freshman yr,” Lendeborg, 19, said. “Sixth, seventh, eighth grade, I tried out and by no means made it. I by no means actually requested why. I assume I simply wasn’t Okay.”

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He caught with basketball, although, touchdown a spot on Pennsauken’s freshman squad. However the prior rejections left him disinterested In school. In consequence, he was reduce from the group midseason Because Of instructional ineligibility and a yrs-prolonged spiral ensued. Poor grades meant Lendeborg mightn’t play In any respect as a sophoextra. His junior season acquired here and went The identical method.

“I didn’t actually have The will to do school or greater myself Usually,” said Lendeborg, Usually acknowledged as “Yak” to his junior school coaches and groupmates. “I simply didn’t assume I used to be Okay for somefactor.”

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