Scour the national rankings for boys basketball players graduating in 2021, and little time elapses before locating the name Caleb Furst. A consensus top-40 recruit nationally according to Rivals, 247sports.com and ESPN, the Blackhawk Christian junior considers the lofty praise an honor.
His humility, a major reason for attending the small Christian school on East State Boulevard, keeps it from causing an inflated ego.
“It definitely is a huge honor to look and see (the rankings), but Coach (Marc) Davidson calls that stuff rat poison,” Furst said. “You can't let it get to your head. You just have to stay focused on getting better each day. It's not too hard.”
The 6-foot-9 junior forward averaged 18.7 points and 8.9 rebounds for the defending Class A state champion Braves. After a trip to semistate in 2018, the success factor will see Blackhawk Christian compete in Class 2A this season – though the team's schedule features primarily Class 4A opponents, as well as nine of the SAC's 10 member schools.
A pair of 4A foes new to the schedule are Indianapolis Crispus Attucks and Culver Academy.
The continued additions of some of the state's elite programs will only provide lessons on how Furst and the Braves can improve.
“I think skill-wise, (Furst) just keeps getting better in all facets of the game,” Davidson said. “He's expanded his shooting range, he's handling the ball much better, but I think the biggest things are the intangibles.
“He's taking on more of a leadership role, which we'll need from him. We're going to continue to challenge him to play with a high level of assertiveness. We need Caleb to play at a high level of aggression at all times, and he's made great strides in that.”
That assertiveness stands in stark contrast to how Furst conducts himself off the court, be it in the classroom or on the recruiting trail. The junior took an official visit to Virginia in September, with another official visit – this time, to Michigan State – set for January. Purdue and Indiana have also reached out, along with almost the entirety of the Big Ten Conference.
“He's a very level-headed kid, and emotionally he's pretty steady,” Davidson said.
“That definitely helps through a situation like this. He's a very humble young man, and just to see how he interacts with everyone at school, he doesn't act like he's better than anyone.
“I don't think (recruiting has) been a distraction for Caleb. He's pretty intent on what he needs to do for his team. I told him options are good, and he has multiple options that are all really great situations.”
3. Elkhart Memorial
5. North Miami
6. Tippecanoe Valley