2005 Focus: J.R. Inman

The Playaz Basketball Club will have another J.R. leading the way this summer. J.R. Inman, a 6-8 forward from Saint Joseph (N.J.), is looking to make a name for himself nationally this summer.

Last year it was Smith. This year it may be Inman.

J.R. Smith led the Playaz Basketball Club last summer and this year it'll be another J.R. – J.R. Inman – that takes the reigns of Jimmy Salmons' program.

Smith was the star a year ago. Two years ago it was Memphis Sean Banks. Before that it was Elijah Ingram. Inman wants to be the next in the line of superstars that comes out of the Playaz Basketball Club program.

``It's my turn this summer," said the 6-8, 195-pound Saint Joseph Regional (N.J.) star. "People just don't know how good I can be."

Maybe not nationally quite yet, but in New Jersey they sure do. Inman is versatile – he can knock down the trifecta a la Banks, post up smaller defenders, handle the ball, find his teammates for easy buckets and also run the floor.

``He has tremendous upside," Saint Joseph coach Mike Doherty said. "Physically, he just hasn't hit his spurt yet. He needs to get serious about improving his strength and when he does, it'll be scary. It's definitely not a lack of effort that holds him back."

Inman comes from good bloodlines. His father, Gerald, played defensive end at Maryland and then had a cup of coffee with the San Francisco 49ers before a shoulder injury abruptly ended his career.

``What makes him so attractive is his athleticism and his ability to get up and down the floor with guard skills," added Doherty. "He's long and has great perimeter skills, but I don't think he's tapped into 60 percent of what he can do yet."

It's not much of a surprise that the younger Inman, who grew up as a huge Terps fan, wants to attend Maryland as well.

``I've wanted to go there since I was a little kid," Inman said. ``I grew up around Terps football and basketball. If the situation is right for me, I'll go there."

Maryland, who watched Inman score 19 points and grab 15 boards in a win against Kennedy in early Feb., has yet to offer a scholarship, but Gary Williams & Co., have put forth an offer to Inman's good friend, Don Bosco (N.J.) big man Tyrell Biggs.

``Maryland is first on both of our lists," Inman added. "We both dream of going there. Me as a three and him as a four."

But Inman hasn't ruled out other schools. In fact, he raves when talking about Gary Waters and the Rutgers program – and also likes Virginia, UConn, Florida and Stanford.

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