Update (10/24/2015): Mitch Lightfoot has committed to Kansas
Gilbert Christian High School Basketball was sitting with a record of 7-6, barely over .500, as December came to an end. But, the New Year brought new success for the Knights, as they rattled off 18 straight wins to take the Arizona Division II State Championship. The cause for the sudden success was no mystery, as the win streak came at the same time 6-foot-10-inch power forward Mitch Lightfoot was declared eligible to play. Lightfoot had to sit out the first 13 games of the season due to his transfer from Ironwood Ridge High School.
It only takes a couple of seconds of watching his highlight tape to see what Lightfoot’s biggest talent is: dunking. Get him the ball in the vicinity of the rim, and there is a high possibility he throws it down with force. But dunking is not the four-star recruit’s only skill.
“What those tapes don’t show, and the reason I’m a good recruit, is because I can shoot the ball,” he said. “I’m not just a dunker; I can shoot the ball and I have good footwork.”
Lightfoot’s game is the perfect combination of athleticism and finesse. He swats shots away with authority and can put anyone on a poster; however, when the dunk is not there, he can shoot and display a soft touch in the post. Right now, Lightfoot explained that he sees himself as a Kevin Love type of player, but the Phoenix kid is working toward making his game more like that of a Phoenix great.
“What I want my game to be like is Tom Chambers,” he said.
Chambers was an all-star stretch four for the Phoenix Suns, and Lightfoot said that he is working hard to improve the parts of his game that can turn him into that type of player.
“My handles, that’s what I’m working on right now. Getting my handles to the next level to where I can be a solid stretch four,” he said. “It’s an awesome capability and that is what I’m trying to do to take my game to the next level.”
As for recruiting, colleges are definitely taking notice of Lightfoot. He currently has nine offers, with his biggest being Arizona State, Arizona, and Kansas. Lightfoot said he has no real agenda of where he wants to go yet, but he does know what he is looking for in his future college.
“I want to go somewhere with good academics,” he said. “I want to go somewhere where I can succeed on and off the court. I want to become a better person as well as a better player.”
Academics are no joke for Lightfoot. He said he is looking for a college where he can study something in the field of biochemistry. One place that comes to mind when talking about basketball and biochemistry is Stanford, who he said will offer him if he gets accepted to the school.
“I went on an official visit there last weekend,” said Lightfoot. “Their basketball program is awesome and obviously their academics are off the charts.”
Lightfoot also added that all of the aforementioned schools are appealing as they are competing for the tournament every year, and will give him exposure to NBA scouts, which is his ultimate goal.