2005 Focus: Jamal Boykin

Jamal Boykin is a glue guy oozing with intangibles. The Fairfax High (Calif.) junior forward met with one big-time coach this past week and is looking to show his perimeter skills this spring.

There may be varying opinions on what level Jamal Boykin is best suited to play at, but one thing everyone agrees on is that it's tough to find a better kid – or a harder worker – than the 6-7, 220-pound Fairfax High (Calif.) junior forward.

Boykin was a double-double machine for most of this past season at Fairfax and has already started strong this spring – with a 28-point, 13-rebound performance against the Utah Vipers in the title game of the Las Vegas Easter Classic.

Boykin, an artist who enjoys painting, sculpting and sketching, realizes there's still plenty of work to do on his game.

``I need to get quicker," Boykin said. "I've been working on it forever and I get faster every year, but everyone gets faster. I'm trying to step it up another notch because I'm never satisfied."

``Jamal is a winner," Fairfax coach Harvey Kitani said. "I've been coaching for 21 years and have had NBA guys, but he's the most coachable out of any of them and is the hardest-working kid I've ever had. The other kids marvel at him because he plays like every game is his last."

Boykin, who is an honor student in the classroom and has so many intangibles to his game, gets most of his work done in the paint despite the fact he is a bit undersized. He can score inside and rebounds well, but needs to improve his perimeter shot and his handle.

Boykin said that he's not getting much interest from the big-time Pac-10 schools – UCLA and Arizona – but a couple of other high-major schools have shown interest.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino met with Boykin last week and the Cardinals, along with Georgia Tech, are Boykin's current co-favorites. He also mentioned Washington, Illinois, Kansas, Pepperdine and Cal as schools in the mix.

``I want to go somewhere that the coach has a plan for me and can help me get better," Boykin added. "All I want, like a lot of other kids, is to get to the NBA someday."

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