It was just after midnight on June 15 when the text messages began to come Riley Mulvey’s way.
More of them would follow, and the phone calls from college basketball coaches started later that Monday morning.
“I’m enjoying this,” the 6-foot-11 basketball standout said of his collegiate recruitment. “As much as people say it’s stressful, I’m not feeling that. I love getting the attention.”
Mulvey, a Rotterdam resident who recently completed his sophomore year at Albany Academy, is certain to get even more of that after averaging a double-double last season for the state’s top-ranked Class A team.
He’s already heard from Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Stanford and Wake Forest, and locally from both Siena College and the University at Albany.
June 15 was the date college coaches in most sports could start reaching out directly to recruits who will be entering their junior year in high school.
“On June 15 alone, I had 10 colleges text or call,” said Mulvey, who has already received a handful of scholarship offers. “It was all day.”
On June 17, Mulvey expressed his appreciation with a message on his Twitter account: “Thank you to the coaches from Iowa, UMass, Siena, Bryant, Rutgers, Boston College, Maryland, Yale, Univ Penn, Providence, Vermont, Air Force, Lehigh, Lasalle, Stanford and Holy Cross for reaching out to me this week. It was great to hear from you!”
Mulvey’s family has ties with Siena. His dad, Martin Mulvey, played soccer there. His uncle, Jack Mulvey, played basketball there and is a member of the college’s athletic hall of fame.
“That is one of the schools that will probably be in the final group when I make my pick,” the 17-year-old Mulvey said.
Mulvey said Iowa, which is coached by former Siena head man Fran McCaffery, will likely be another college on his narrowed-down list. Mulvey made an unofficial visit there in October.
“Riley is a major prospect,” Albany Academy basketball coach Brian Fruscio said. “He is a winner. He is part of a culture we’ve developed here. He’s grown as a teammate and as a person as well as player, and he’s getting better. He comes from a great family. All of these things matter.”
Collegiate interest in Mulvey picked up during his freshman year when coaches would come to see then-junior Andre Jackson, and were impressed with the tall, mobile kid in the middle. Jackson eventually selected the University of Connecticut.
“That helped me so much,” Mulvey said of those early looks.
Another thing that helped increase interest in Mulvey was a 3-inch growth spurt between his freshman and sophomore years.
“He’s grown, pun intended,” Fruscio said. “He is a major rim protector, and he’s learned how to contest and rebound behind it.”
Albany Academy has had a major Division I basketball recruit in three of the last four years, starting with Hameir Wright (2017, Washington), followed by August Mahoney (2019, Yale) and Jackson.
“Hameir really started that chain reaction,” Fruscio said. “They’d come to see Hameir and it was, ‘Who is that other kid?’ They’d come to see August, and it was the same thing with Andre. People notice.”
Mulvey will be the main attraction next season for Albany Academy. Prep Hoops has him ranked No. 185 nationally for the entire class of 2022, and ranked No. 20 for centers.
“He is not just a back to the basket 6-foot-11 kid,” Fruscio said. “He is really skilled.”
Albany Academy was favored to win the New York Federation Tournament of Champions Class A title back in March before the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and Mulvey was among the reasons why. As a sophomore he averaged 12 points, 12.4 rebounds and six blocked shots per game for the 14-6 Cadets.
Mulvey insists he’ll be even better during his junior season.
“I’ve been lifting a lot, and I’ve been working on my footwork and getting the ball in the hoop,” he said. “I want to come back with a better mid-range game.”