Albertville basketball star Riley Norris is regarded as one of the state’s top boys prospects for the class of 2014.
Norris, who averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds per game as a junior, already holds scholarship offers from Auburn, Mississippi State, Arkansas, UAB and Belmont.
On Saturday, Norris added an offer from Alabama to the list of schools seeking his signature on a letter of intent.
“They invited me down to watch the (Tide-South Carolina) game, and after the game, they brought me into a meeting room,” Norris said.
“(Head) Coach (Anthony) Grant was in there, and he was talking to me about he thinks I fit good in their system, and he offered a scholarship to me.
“It was really a surprise. I had hoped they’d offer me sometime but I didn’t know when, and being my junior year, that’s a big offer for me.
“Coach Grant or one of his assistants was at most of my games last summer when I played AAU.”
Norris played for the Southeast Elite last year, an AAU team based in Huntsville.
He was the only junior on the roster, and he doesn’t plan to play for Southeast Elite this summer.
“I’ve got a couple options, and I’m not sure who I’m playing with this year,” Norris said.
The 6-foot-7 guard/forward could sign during the NCAA-allowed early signing period in November, but as of now, he’s leaning toward signing after his senior season.
“I’ve talked with my Dad, and I’ve planned on seeing how the summer goes and seeing if I pick up any new interest or offers, and then next fall is when I’m going to start narrowing it down to five or 10,” Norris said.
“Then I want to start taking my five official visits, and hopefully if I don’t commit next fall, I’ll sign next spring.
“If I take my visits and I’m just like set on one school, I’ll sign in the fall, but as of right now, I’m probably going to wait until the spring after I take all my visits.”
Norris said he doesn’t have a leader for his services.
“I was at Clemson Sunday and I really liked it,” he said. “I’ve been to Vanderbilt, I’ve been to Mississippi State, I’ve been to a lot of schools, but right now I’m just trying to enjoy it.
“I get asked a lot do you have a favorite, and I really don’t have a favorite at this time. I’m just looking around right now.”
This summer, Norris hopes to add 10 to 15 pounds to his lanky frame and improve his lateral quickness.
“In college, they’re going to have me playing the (No.) 2 or the (No.) 3 (positions). The smaller guards are quick, and I’ve got to stay in front of them,” Norris said.
“And I’ve got to work on my consistency of shooting. I’m a little bit inconsistent sometimes, and I’ve just got to be more consistent from the outside and be more effective.”
Albertville finished 17-13 in 2012-13 during its first season in Class 6A since the early 1990s.
Norris led the Aggies to their first WQSB/Albertville Civitans Christmas Classic championship, as well as a second straight berth in the Marshall County Tournament finals.
Albertville lost in the 6A, Area 10 Tournament semifinals to Grissom, which ended their streak of two consecutive regional tournament berths.
“This is the first year I’ve played varsity that I haven’t made it to Jacksonville. It’s been different,” said Norris, who played on regional tournament teams at Sand Rock as a seventh- and eighth-grader before transferring to Albertville as a freshman.
“That’s our goal at the beginning of the season, to make it to Jacksonville, but we’d like to go further.
“I think our team will be mostly senior-oriented next year. I think it will be a reachable goal. It should be.”
Norris said Class 6A basketball is “just a different game.”
“It was tough,” he said. “We were in a good area this year. It’s more challenging, I guess you can say.
“Not dissing on 5A or anything, but it was just a bigger and physical game. Grissom had 6-6 and 6-8s, and we didn’t see any of that until we got to Jacksonville last year.”