Back in the 80’s his father John Sullivan played Division I basketball in the Big Sky. His brother currently plays at Division II Concordia, spurning Division I offers for a better opportunity, while his uncles and most of his family have lineage that all lead to college basketball.
And now it’s Will Sullivan’s turn. A class of 2024 student-athlete from Walla Walla High School (WA).
“I think he knows what it takes to get there because it’s a real deep family root to go play basketball collegiately,” his father said. “He understands the work ethic and has an idea of what it takes, and saw the kind of hours his brothers put into it.”
His game has evolved from just being a slasher to being an all around threat offensively. He has worked on his jump shot a lot recently with his father, setting goals to make 300 shots a day for 30 straight days in 35 minutes each session. He completed that last month, so the numbers have increased this month.
He’s also steadily growing, and with his game, he could become a real problem for defenses in the future.
“He’s probably the most aggressive player of three kids and probably the most driven, as far as, when he plays he only knows one speed and that’s 110 miles an hour,” his father explained. “He’s very athletic and he’s having a growth spurt. He went from 5’9” to about 6’2” in the last four months. He’s suppose to be 6’8”.”
At 6-foot-2 as a freshman, Sullivan has started to transition his game out of the backcourt and more towards the wing and the post. At the request of his father, Sullivan has been playing more of the wing recently, which should help his game as he gets taller.
“He’s always played guard but I told him he should probably transition his mindset to be a three or a stretch four and he’s really worked hard,” his father said. “He’s always been kind of a slasher and real good defensive player. He’s always been good about getting steals because they would always play him on top of any kind of trap.”
“He’s got really good hand eye coordination and he’s really good at reading guys. He averaged probably about 3 or 4 steals a game.”
Right now, it’s all about technique, getting stronger and strengthening his legs to get optimum lift on his jump shot. Due to his father’s background as a D1 player, Sullivan has reaped the benefits and is already seeing some progress in his shooting. His father has been preaching, “use your form, use your legs,” and now he’s in the driveway knocking down threes at a high rate.
Being the son of a former Division I basketball player certainly helps. His father has been instrumental in his growth as a player, both on and off the court, helping him with his road map to the collegiate ranks.
“He’s kind of had the whole playing field laid out for him,” his father said. “He’s a gym rat. It’s one of those things where that’s all he knows. He knows it’s his turn and he’s going to go for it.”
Along with the focus on his game, comes the focus on recruiting. He’s reached out to a total of 17 Division I programs and has already spoken to Vanderbilt. He’s also reached out to introduce himself to Western Washington, Central Washington, Hawaii Pacific, Point Loma, Eastern Washington and plenty more.
And while it may seem too early to determine level, Sullivan’s goal is to play on the Division I level and that’s what he’s working towards in the future.
“I think we are definitely going to push him to Division I. You always shoot for the stars,” his father said. “As we get further down the road, we’re going to have a better understanding of his talent level but, at this point, you have to shoot for Pac 12, the Big 5 conferences and see if there is any interest there.”