Update (8/7/2015): Klay Stall has signed to Utah State.
Although Chandler, Arizona, is classified as just a suburb of Phoenix, the town has a history of producing professional athletes. Brett Hundley, Dion Jordan and Marcus Wheaton are just three of the nine NFL players who called Chandler home during their youth. Also coming out of Chandler is UCLA star running back Paul Perkins, who is a possible 2015 Heisman candidate. While most of Chandler’s star athletes have been off the football field, there’s another athlete making his name on the basketball court.
Klay Stall is a 6-foot-9-inch power forward out of Chandler’s Basha High School. While other high school players often get caught up in playing in the prettiest ways so they can have the best highlight tapes, Stall is focused on doing whatever it takes to get the job done. He gets many of his buckets on put backs around the rim, he protects the rim like his life is at stake, and he rebounds at all costs. In fact, he is such a gifted rebounder that his 11.8 rebounds per game was the second most for all class of 2016 centers in Arizona. He even racked up 23 boards in a game this season, but Stall said he isn’t shooting for big statistics
Unfortunately for Stall, his junior season turned out to be his last time playing in high school. Two weeks ago, when Stall was at the San Diego State basketball camp, he came down for a rebound, and his knee buckled under him. He had torn his ACL. The dreaded knee injury will keep him off the court until his college debut in late 2016. Even though his recruiting is heating up, it will have to take a backseat to his rehab.
“My focus right now is definitely on rehab,” he said. “Just making sure my body is getting stronger and making sure I am ready for my freshman year of college. I have to do a lot of shoulders, a lot of back, and just get my upper body stronger.”
His rehabbing process will no doubt be a challenge and take major dedication, but Stall has the right motivation. His grandfather, Pete Hernandez, is in the Chandler Sports Hall of Fame, and his mom was a talented basketball player herself.
“My grandfather pushes me,” he said, “He pushed my mom, and she pushes me. My mom is probably my biggest critic, but she also is there whenever I do something good. She is a pretty good motivation factor for me.”
Stall does have some clue at what he is looking for in his potential college. He has played with another big man recruit, Devin Kirby, during his high school career, and said that although it is not a must-have, he enjoys playing alongside a player who has a similar skill set to his. He also said that making the tournament is pretty important to him, but the two most essential things would be family and fit.
“I want a family-oriented environment, I am a big family guy,” Stall said, “And that my style of play fits in the system that they run. I am not going to be out there doing something I’m not comfortable with. I want to play where I’m wanted”
Stall also has a plan for what his commitment process will look like once he is ready to focus on it. He said he plans to wait until fall to take his visits, and after he has seen the schools, he will begin to put together his choices.
“I’ll narrow those three schools down and speak to all the coaches,” he said, “I want to sign the first signing day for basketball.”
And when that signing day comes, there will be one college that gets an absolute workhorse in Klay Stall.