John Wall is the most electrifying basketball player in the country. The Word of God (Raleigh, N.C.) senior has Derrick Rose-type skills and looks to be a sure-fire NBA star. He's rated No. 5 in the ESPNU 100.
ESPN RISE: What would be the dream scenario for your future?
Wall: Hopefully go to college as long as I have to, then hopefully the NBA. I think about it a lot. Not too many make it to the NBA. I know how hard you have to work. I love the sport so much. I'm motivated by my dad, who passed away. He'd love for me to make it. I want to do it for mom, who works three or four jobs to take care of me and my sisters.
ESPN RISE: Realistically, where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?
Wall: I do expect to be in the NBA and hopefully be a successful point guard in the NBA. Ever since I was little that was my dream. It's gonna take hard work and dedication and time in college to make me a smarter and better player. It's up to me. Others can help, but I've gotta be the one to do it.
ESPN RISE: If for some reason your sport doesn't pan out, what do you want to do with your future?
Wall: Hopefully, something that will keep me in basketball. Coaching, being an athletic director, something like that. I'd like to stay involved in the game if I can.
ESPN RISE: Put yourself in charge of the high school sports world. What do you think needs to change the most?
Wall: I want coaches to have the ability where they can see players as much as they can. There are so many rules and hopefully they can change some of them. It would be better if [coaches] could see you during some of those dead periods. Players take their games to another level when coaches are there.
ESPN RISE: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing high school sports?
Wall: The toughest thing for players is staying humble. There's so much hype that gets to people's heads and they get cocky. You have to stay hungry and humble and do everything you did before you had all this. All the attention is good and bad. It's good for kids to get it, but not if they don't live up to the hype. Then it's tough.
ESPN RISE: How do you think high school sports will be different for the next generation of stars?
Wall: I think it will mostly be same. I think classes keep getting better every year, although one year you'll get that one dominant class — like 2007. In a couple of years, we'll see another dominant class like that. I also think you'll see more high school games on TV. They had a lot this year and they were good games, so there will be more in the future.
ESPN RISE: In what ways do you think these tough economic times will impact the future of high school sports?
Wall: The economy thing is going to be really tough on high school and college sports because a lot of kids depend on sponsorships from Nike or adidas. They might not be able to travel or go to the tournaments they used to. Last summer, I traveled the whole time. I was home for maybe a week or two the whole summer.
ESPN RISE: What is one change you'd like to see made to recruiting?
Wall: I don't think it's a good idea that you can recruit sixth- or seventh-graders and offer them scholarships. That's a little too early. That's crazy. You don't know how these kids will turn out. I think ninth grade is pretty good to start. By then you've hit high school and you might be at the varsity level. Otherwise, you can get a big head and if you don't turn out to be that good, everyone's on you.
ESPN RISE: How will technology impact high school sports and recruiting?
Wall: That plays a big role. There are a lot of fans on Facebook. They write how they want you to come to their school. They say, "Come to my school, help change our program." Some go into long stories about the histories of their school. I talk to a lot of other recruits that way.
ESPN RISE: What's going to become the biggest trend in high school sports during the next decade?
Wall: Better training. People are working out differently than before. Young kids watch how NBA players train or read about how NBA players train and are using that themselves. You're going to see more pro-style training among high school kids.
ESPN RISE: Is there any lesson you learned during high school that will help you in your future?
Wall: You have to make sacrifices and trust in the right people. You have to know who to trust and have people in your circle who are real.