San Diego State freshman power forward Zylan Cheatham could very well be the most relieved person in the world right now. Just yesterday, the Aztec recruit finally moved to SDSU's campus after a very unique high school experience--one that I do not envy.
Cheatham played his junior season of high school at Westwind Preparatory Academy in Phoenix. However, the NCAA ruled that the classes Cheatham and his Westwind teammates took at the academy were ineligible for course credit.
In other words, entering his senior season of high school at South Mountain High School, Cheatham had to take on a junior-year course load and a senior-year course load all in one year.
Some sports pundits and news sources, like Verbal Commits, thought Cheatham would reclassify to a 2015 recruit to give himself two years to complete his junior and senior course loads. But when Verbal Commits tweeted that idea in August 2013, Cheatham tweeted right back: "@VerbalCommits not ineligible just have to retake my junior classes. I will be eligible."
Well, he did retake his classes. And he is eligible. And as of yesterday, he's on campus with his new SDSU teammates.
Cheatham talked about his experience with ArizonaPreps.com's Anthony Ray.
"While other students were going home at 2 or 3 p.m., I was at school until late in the evening every day," Cheatham told Ray.
Cheatham went on to describe how hard he had to work in order to get eligible for college.
"In my senior year, I expected to have it easy, but instead I worked harder than I ever have worked in my life," he said.
The type of work ethic Cheatham built during his high school experience will only help him both as a college student and as a college basketball player.
Cheatham, a four-star recruit, was part of SDSU's most heralded recruiting class, joined by five-star small forward Malik Pope, four-star shooting guard Trey Kell and three-star point guard Kevin Zabo.
The first day of classes at SDSU is Monday, August 25. He got here just in time, and barring something very unexpected, Cheatham should have no more obstacles on his road to playing at Viejas Arena.