Class of 2025 forward Aleks Alston unofficially visited Tennessee basketball last weekend for the first time. The four-star recruit took in a basketball practice and Tennessee football’s win over Texas A&M at Neyland Stadium.
The Chicago native’s visit to Tennessee was his first visit to a SEC school and the facilities and atmosphere around campus stood out to the blue-chip recruit.
“The atmosphere, seeing how the fans reacted,” Alston told RTI. “First step in I had fans telling me, ‘you need to come here.’ It was just a different experience. Looking at the facilities and seeing what they have to offer as far as rehab and just working hard and knowing that the people there have your back. It was just a good experience.”
Alston ranks as a four-star recruit and the No. 84 player in the 2025 recruiting class according to the 247sports composite rankings. The 6-foot-9 prospect ranks as the 16th best power forward in his class and the top prep player in the state of Illinois.
While Alston is 6-foot-9 and ranks as a power forward, he has a strong jump shot and is a versatile player who plays on the perimeter. The four-star sees himself fitting in well with Tennessee’s offensive pace and thinks his length fits well with what the Vols do defensively.
“What stood out the most is they got up-and-down,” Alston said after watching Tennessee practice. “It was nice seeing how big they were, using their length. I could definitely see myself with my length fitting in that type of situation so that was definitely cool to watch.”
Assistant coach Rod Clark is Alston’s lead recruiter and has been actively recruiting the blue-chip recruit since this summer.
“He saw me at one of the EYBL sessions,” Alston said. “He checks up on me multiple times. It shows me that he feels that I can really go there (Tennessee) and play ball there. It’s a good relationship and he checks up on me and makes sure I’m good after practice and maybe after a workout he’ll hit me up so definitely a good relationship.”
The visit to Tennessee was the first time Alston got to meet head coach Rick Barnes in person. Alston felt like Barnes made him a priority but was most impressed by what he saw during the Vols’ practice.
“What coach wants, he’s getting out of the players,” Alston said. “I feel like they respect him in a way that’s very positive. They’ll run through a brick wall for him.”
It was Alston’s first visit to a SEC school and Tennessee’s matchup against Texas A&M was his first SEC football game.
“It was crazy,” Alston said of the environment. “The minute I walk out I just see patches of orange and white in different areas. To me, that was like I hadn’t ever seen nothing like that before so that was like wow. … I really liked it. It was a great experience for my first time going to an SEC football game.”
Alston is in the midst of a busy fall full of visits. He’s visited Indiana, Ohio State and Xavier earlier in the fall and plans on visiting Illinois, Michigan State and LSU later this fall. The four-star recruit is visiting East Lansing the same weekend Tennessee basketball is playing Michigan State in a charity scrimmage.
Alston has no timeline for his recruitment and isn’t planning on narrowing things down until after his junior year.