Updated: Jun 11
Going into his senior year at Dream City Christian (AZ), Arthur Kaluma is making progress toward his college decision and preparation. Considered to be a consensus top-10 power forward prospect in the 2021 high school class, Kaluma brings a lot of energy on both ends of the floor. He’s a relentless rebounder, who’s also known for his defensive instincts and willingness to mix it up close to the basket. His ball skills also stand out, as he is working on attacking as a cutter and slasher, while also showing some passing acumen.
In terms of his recruitment, Kaluma has recently narrowed his list to a final eight of Arizona State, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Syracuse, Texas A&M, UNLV and USC, though it seems like other schools may also enter the fray. With impressive length, work ethic and knowledge of what he brings in his role, Kaluma should make an impact immediately at the college level. It appears he is fully embracing the process and working toward his goal of playing basketball at the highest level.
In this interview he talks about his background, what brought him to Dream City Christian, emulating Kevin Garnett, his definition of leadership, what he is looking for in a college program, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2021 prospect Arthur Kaluma, from Dallas, Texas:
Pro Insight: Talk about your background.
Arthur Kaluma: I was born in Boston, Massachusetts. I moved to California and stayed in California for 10 years. Then I moved to Texas and stayed there for four years. I always say I'm from Texas because that's where I felt like I really grew as a person and as a basketball player. Then I moved down to Arizona last year and played my first year of prep school basketball at Dream City Christian.
PI: Any athletes in the family?
AK: My older brother plays at San Diego State, Adam Seiko. They just had a great season last year, too.
PI: Why did you decide to transfer to Dream City Christian?
AK: I just wanted to play against better competition and they said they would offer that.
Getting myself on a big stage playing in front of big crowds, great scouts, getting different college looks, and just enjoying the process as it goes.
PI: How did you adjust to playing on the big stage against better competition?
AK: I felt like I already had the confidence to play on there. I just needed to get my body to where it needed to be. Last year really woke me up: I was kind of bigger, had a lot more fat on me, and I wasn't moving as quick as I wanted to. I mean, of course I was still getting the things I wanted, but now during this quarantine I was like now I got to get bigger, get stronger, and get ready. That's what I've been doing and I feel like my game has become just totally different than it was last year.
PI: What type of body transformation have you made?
AK: I weighed 235 pounds, last year. I remember I went up to a trainer in Arizona and I was like, “I really want to get rid of this weight” and he was like, “we're going to have to slim you down, like really.” So we got into the gym and I remember the lowest I was at was 210. And then he was like, “now it's time to build muscle.” So after I got to 210, I built it up to 225 pounds of pure muscle. Just ready for it now.
PI: Describe your game. What are your biggest strengths?
AK: My ability to attack the glass. Rebounding is a really underrated skill in basketball, but I feel like it's the most winning skill you could ever have. So every single time a shot goes up, I assume it's a miss. I always go to the glass. My ability to get downhill is another strength. But most of what I've been working on is my shooting, I’ve been expanding my range. So all around, you know, passing, just try to be a general on the court.
PI: What are some things you still need to work on?
AK: Everything. I mean, I'm not really perfect at everything, so just continuing to improve all around and we'll see as I go.
PI: What are some underrated aspects of your game?
AK: My vision, most people don't see my ability to pass. I feel like I see the court differently than a lot of people. There are very few people that can make the passes that I make. Just working on it all.
PI: How would you rank yourself amongst other forwards in the 2021 class?
AK: I'm always thinking I'm the best. I'm the best forward in my class, in my personal opinion. I mean, of course other people have different things they want to say about it, but I feel like once I get on the court, you’re going to have to prove to me that you're better than me and that's most likely not going to happen.
PI: Any other top forwards in your class?
AK: Harrison Ingram out of Texas. That's my guy and we grew up playing basketball together. It was fun, it was nice. He’s someone to watch out for, for sure.
PI: What’s the current update with your recruitment?
AK: I dropped my final eight not too long ago: Arkansas, UNLV, USC, Kansas off the top of my head. I'm not remembering it right now, but USC, UNLV, and Texas A&M have gone really hard. Recently Missouri started talking to me, so it's expanded.
PI: What are you looking for in a school of choice?
AK: Just a strong relationship with a head coach and knowing what type of point guard they have. I don't want to be on a team where a point guard shoots 30 shots a game, you know, it's just high clips. I want to be able to be on a team where we can move the ball and work as a unit.
PI: Do you have a dream school?
AK: I mean, everybody wants to go to a blue blood as a kid, but, you know, honestly what I realized is you just want to go to a place where you can play and feel like you're loved. So any school that offers that would be fine with me.
PI: What position do you view yourself as?
AK: Stretch-4. I'm cool with playing the power forward position. I could play the three, I mean, I could play any position you need me to play on the court. You just tell me what to do and I'll do it to the highest capability I can.
PI: How do you see your role at the next level?
AK: That’s a good question. I want to become a glue guy. Someone who glues a team together, someone who makes the right reads. Someone who can score when he needs to, but is always looking to pass and make his teammates better, encourage them and everything. Something like that. I’d be cool with that.
PI: What’s your definition of leadership?
AK: Leadership is just being able to bring your teammates together, get them through a tough time, bad possession, bring them in and huddle them up, you know, go through it. Explain to them, hold your teammates accountable. Don't ever try to ignore a mistake, hold them accountable, but still encourage them and lift them up. That’s something that I really need to get better at, and I’m going to work on that for sure.
PI: Who would you consider to be 10-out-of-10 in the leadership department in the NBA (past or present)?
AK: LeBron James. Most definitely. Just the way he operates on the court, the way he talks to his teammates is just on a different level.
PI: Where would you put yourself on that scale?
AK: I got a lot of improving to do, but that's the end goal right there. It's definitely the end goal.
PI: How would your coaches/teammates rank you on that scale?
AK: I mean, I feel like my coaches and my teammates look for me to do a lot of things on the court and leadership is one of them. So I feel like they're counting on me and, you know, I just gotta be able to provide every single day.
PI: Are there any players you model your game after?
AK: Kevin Garnett, a straight killer and straight beast on the court. LeBron, of course...his court vision, the reads he makes, the passes. Other than that, I’m by myself just working on it.
PI: What’s your biggest passion outside of basketball?
AK: I like reading, I do a lot of reading. I love mythology, it’s always stuck with me. I read the Percy Jackson series, The Odyssey, just all of it.
PI: How would you rank yourself on 2K?
AK: 99 overall, of course...straight 99 [laughs].
PI: What are four words that describe you?
AK: Passionate. Hard-working. Caring. Funny.