Stoudamire Does His Thing

<b>ATLANTA – Last year, Sagana Diop wore No. 44 for the Atlanta Celtics. Diop tipped the scales at over 300 pounds. Surprisingly, his jersey is still in use, but it's not a 300-pounder who's filling it out. Instead, it's Amare Stoudemire who is taking good care of the jersey in Diop's absence.</b>

No. 44 In Good Hands

Amare Stoudemire looked very good in a Fastbreak USA uniform. The 6-10 monster isn't half bad in an Atlanta Celtics uniform, either. Stoudemire is likely to spend the bulk of the summer terrorizing opponents alongside Sani Ibrahim as a member of the Celtics.

This weekend in Atlanta, Stoudemire has been exceptional. He's remarkably consistent in a lot of areas. For starters, he's intimidated the whole event. Would be scorers in the paint have been greeted like illegal aliens trying to get past the border patrol without proper identification. It's just not happening. Stoudemire has measured countless opponents and dumped their shots right back at them.

The Celtics guards are having a field day. It's much easier to throw Amare an alley-oop than it is to feed him the ball in the post; not to mention it's more fun for everybody. Once, Stoudemire caught an alley-oop behind his head and dunked it on his way down. The play was rather ridiculous, but then again this guy isn't your normal athlete.

Moving onto rebounding. Amare is putting on a clinic in the paint. Granted, unless they are in town trying out for the Atlanta Hawks there aren't many prospects that can compete with him and the event's second-best big man is usually standing by his side. But, he's not taking anything for granted. Rebounding is something a kid has to want to excel at and certainly Amare has the drive to be perfect.

On nearly every play, Stoudemire finds a body to boxout. It might not always be the biggest guy, but he takes the man closest to him and takes him out of the play. It sounds simple, but kids don't always do it despite the urging of coaches worldwide. Stoudamire on the other hand, takes boxing out to the extreme. He does it all the time, no matter how close or far from the basket he is. He'll boxout the 3-point shooter after he's done challenging his shot. It's hard work and it takes effort, but Amare isn't skimping on details.

Stoudemire committed to Memphis on Valentine's Day. Here's to hoping college basketball fans will have at least a year to appreciate and enjoy his game.

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