The dayton school district is among the more high-profile names among the top 30 programs in basketball, and a high school coach is trying to lure one of the top recruits in recent years.
The coach, the school district and the athletic director say they are committed to recruiting the 6-foot-10 forward.
They’ve been working together for months, with the goal of having the first day of classes at the Thomas M. Cooley Athletic Center in Dayton on Feb. 12.
The district is one of three that also have athletic directors.
The other is the Greater Dayton Area Technical College in northeast Ohio, and the last is the Franklin County Technical College near Dayton.
The district is recruiting players from Akron, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland and Dayton.
It is the largest high school in the state, with nearly 10,000 students.
The dayton athletic director, Bob Cusick, said the school wants to recruit a 6-6 guard from a state with a top-five recruit in De’Anthony Thomas, who is ranked No. 1 nationally by ESPN.
Thomas has been with the Dayton school district since the fall of 2015, when he signed a four-year deal that includes a player option for a fifth season.
Thomas said the new deal will pay him $11.5 million over four years.
He is eligible for a scholarship.
The Dayton school system has also recruited several high school players.
The athletic director for the Greater Cincinnati Technical College, Mark Dantonio, said he would not disclose which schools he was working with, but that it included the Dayton system.
The Greater Dayton area Technical College had 10 players signed in the 2016-17 season, the most in the country, with more than a dozen players from Dayton and Cincinnati.
Dayton’s Chris Gaffney is the only player in the district, and he signed as a transfer.
Gaffey said he has seen the school’s recruiting efforts improve.
“I am impressed with the growth we’ve seen,” Gaffness said.
“The last three years we’ve had more than 30 players sign.”
The athletic department said it will recruit on an ad hoc basis and work with a recruiting partner, a source close to the Dayton administration said.
The school is recruiting at a pace that has been slow to increase.
“The athletic program has been the most successful in our history and we are very proud of that,” the athletic department spokesman, Tim Dolan, said in a statement.
“We are working with our partners in our state to increase our recruiting and we will be working with those partners to ensure we recruit top-notch talent.”
The school’s coach, David Wohl, is working on a list of recruits.
Wohl and his staff are trying to convince one of them to leave Dayton, he said.
Wohl, who also serves as a sports medicine doctor at St. Vincent De Paul, is recruiting for the Dayton basketball program, which won the 2016 Class 5A state championship and was named the state’s best high school team.
The Dayton program also was named a preseason preseason National Invitation to the 2016 NIT, but Wohl said he was not able to attend.
Athletics director David McRae declined to discuss the prospects of the player.
McRae has said he will recruit a high-quality athlete and is trying hard to build the program in a way that attracts top talent.
He has talked with Thomas, said Wohl.
The high school basketball coach said he wants the Dayton coach to consider the athletic program’s basketball success and the need to attract top talent in the Dayton area.
He said he hopes the Dayton athletic director will consider a player who might be a future top-20 prospect, which could include Thomas.
“We have to make sure that he is on board,” the coach said.
“He has to think about the future of the Dayton football program.
We want him to be there.”
Wohl said the Dayton athletics director would need to work with the athletic directors on how to build a stronger football program in the future.
“There are things that are going to have to happen in terms of recruiting and how to bring in talent,” Wohl added.
“He needs to talk to our athletic directors and the other school directors.”