For Sean O'Mara, this past weekend wasn't just about his high school grassroots career ending. That was just a small chapter in a novel that he has written alongside teammates for quite some time.
"I grew up playing with my team," he told BillikenReport.com. "I've been with them since third grade. It was tough to see it all end, but I'm glad I was with those guys. We had our ups and downs, but in July we had a lot of success. We played against and beat some really good teams."
During the month, O'Mara also got the rare opportunity to showcase his talents as an individual at the Reebok Camp.
"I got put in a tough situation [there]," he said. "I didn't play in the post. We didn't have a [set] offense so it forced me to come out to the short corner and use one-to-two dribbles to get to the hoop. It really helped me and I noticed myself making those moves in games and getting past kids along with finishing more at the rim."
Although he feels as though he's gotten a lot better throughout the summer months, he has created goals for himself for the upcoming season.
"[Work on] offensive rebounding," he said. "Being able to limit teams getting more than one shot on offense. I know it sounds weird, but Candace Parker does this. We're going to keep a stat of how many offensive rebounds I get. I want to average what I did last year in total but just on the offensive glass this year."
One of the difficulties with this approach is that high school referees are quick to blow their whistle against big men.
"You just have to adjust to the game," he said. "There are some conference games where I know they're going to let anything go. Sometimes it will be ticky-tack. Whenever you attack the shoulders, you're in good position."
Along with a solid July period, schools have continued to work hard to get him on campus and want them in their program.
Saint Louis, Xavier, Loyola, Seton Hall, Wake Forest, and Virginia are all recruiting him the hardest, he said.
The Billikens must get another big man in the 2014 class and O'Mara would be a difference maker.
"They have a good opportunity," he said. "It will be interesting to see what happens next year [at SLU].
He also likes the stability that the Billikens now have after inking head coach Jim Crews to a long-term deal.
"It's definitely a good thing," he said. "I feel like one of a player's biggest fears is committing to a college and the coach not being there."
For now, his focus is getting visits set up.
He will head to Wake Forest on Thursday, and Seton Hall, SLU, Xavier, and Loyola are all tentatively on the docket for the future.
A high academic performer, O'Mara is also looking for a strong on-court product. That could very well come in the form of a "big name" conference.
"It's definitely a factor," he said of conference affiliation. "SLU is being talked about to go to the New Big East and Loyola is going to the MVC. It's not a gamechanger, but it would be nice."