Editor's Note: This summer at the Reebok ABCD camp in Teaneck, N.J., Zach Graham, a 6-5, 215-pound swing player, continued his quest to develop his basketball talent and earn the respect of coaches and players. He plays for Peachtree Ridge High School and the Georgia Hurricanes AAU team. He sat down with A.P. Steadham, who covers Alabama-related athletics events in the Northeast for 'BAMA Magazine and BamaMag.com and gave us his thoughts. And others comment on Zach Graham.
APS: How has your second year at the Reebok ABCD camp been different?
ZG: I really had the same hunger to try and get my name out because I still feel that people aren't showing me as much respect as they should so I'm just out here trying to prove myself.
APS: What would you like a coach to know about you?
ZG: I am very unselfish and I have good character and wouldn't be the bad apple on the team. I would play hard and do all I can for the team's sake. I would try to bring things that the team needs to win championships.
APS: Describe your game to someone who has never seen you play.
ZG: I would say it's unique. It's flashy in a way. It's efficient.
APS: What brings a smile to your face when you are on the court?
ZG: What makes me smile is when everybody is playing together and everybody is having fun. When you have chemistry and everything is clicking, it's fun.
APS: What is the scouting report on Zach Graham?
ZG: I think an opposing team would play me to drive to the basket. I can shoot outside even though I have not shot from the perimeter much at this camp.
APS: What are some of the factors that will influence your college selection?
ZG: Education is first. The people at the school. The environment and last would be the location.
APS: Is playing time or the style of play important factors in your decision?
ZG: The style of play is very important but I'm just thinking about coming in and contributing as fast as I can.
APS: What do you consider to be your effective shooting range?
ZG: I can shoot from the three point line, the elbow and the corner.
APS: You have not decided between football and basketball at this point? Will it be a difficult decision for you?
ZG: People have been pressuring me about it. It's probably going to be a difficult decision. I know if I chose basketball, the people that I play football with in my area are going to be disappointed. If I chose football, the people I play basketball with in my area would be mad.
APS: What is your academic standing at this point, specifically your GPA? Have you taken the ACT or SAT?
ZG: I think my GPA is around a 3.0. I have taken the SAT but have not received my scores yet.
APS: If you select football, do you have a position preference?
ZG: I would like to play quarterback even though some people have recruited me at other positions.
APS: What schools are recruiting you the most for basketball?
APS: What schools are recruiting you the most for football?
APS: What are you expectations academically and athletically when you enter college?
ZG: I want to study business and marketing. I want to be prepared for college life. I know there are a lot of distractions out there but I just want to be ready. Athletically, I am looking to make an immediate impact.
APS: What are some of your hobbies and interests?
ZG: I like music. All I listen to Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and an artist called JR Ryder. My hobbies are simple. I really don't go out much. My life is simple. I have a nucleus of friends that I hang around. They come over my house and we chill and play video games.
Tom Konchalski, Publisher of High School Basketball Illustrated, talent evaluator often quoted in USA Today, as well as newspapers and magazines across the country. Often a guest on the Madison Square Garden television network sports show, "High School Weekly"
APS: Describe the abilities of Zach Graham as well as his value to a team.
TC: Zach Graham is a player that is very strong taking the ball to the basket. He is physical, can absorb contact and finish plays. He will be an and one scorer.
Sean Jones, AAU Coach, Georgia Hurricanes
APS: How long have you coached Zach Graham?
CSJ: I have coached Zach for six years, ever since he was twelve years old.
APS: Would you describe his development the past year?
CSJ: He is stronger and more confident and consistent in the things that he does on the court. He is focusing more on the specifics of his game and making the necessary adjustments.
APS: What parts of his game would you like to see him improve this year?
CSJ: I would like to see him take over a game more. He is very unselfish and will do exactly what you ask of him but I would like to see him step out of the box and take command of the game. I use him in many different situations. His versatility will be an asset to the school that he attends.
APS: What would you like a coach to know about Zach?
CSJ: I would like a coach to know that his position is the three (small forward) but he can also be used in other positions to create opportunities for his teammates. He handles the ball better than what people think and can cause match up problems for opponents out front, on top and at the wing. He has a big frame and his game changes accordingly to the opponent he is playing against. In certain situations you can play him at guard to get things going for his teammates.
APS: What is the scouting report on Zach?
CSJ: He is balanced. He is a scorer. He will either score the two points or you will foul him and he will be at the free throw line. He has that football background and he can see the floor. He can shoot and hit the three as well as get to the basket. He can pass and create for teammates. You can move him around to other positions where his versatility will create problems for opponents. He is an excellent shooter from the free throw line as well as from the field.