Javaris Crittenton Steps Out of Shadow

Dwight Howard is gone. That's good news and bad for Javaris Crittenton. The 6-4 junior guard welcomes the challenge of playing without the top pick in last week's NBA Draft.

The shadow cast by Dwight Howard has been large, and Javaris Crittenton has finally stepped out of it.

The 6-4, 190-pound junior guard, who played with the No. 1 overall pick in high school at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy (Ga.) and also with the Atlanta Celtics, has now assumed more leadership and responsibility with Howard moving onto the NBA.

``It's going to make me more aggressive, because I always looked to get the ball to Dwight, Josh (Smith) and Randolph (Morris) in the past," Crittenton said. "It's going to expand my game and I'm going to have to step up, especially in high school."

Crittenton, who will likely play the point at the next level, has already begun to successfully make the transition in the Post-Dwight area, shouldering more of an offensive load with the Celtics in the spring.

However, now the Rip Hamilton fan will try to show coaches and observers that he is one of the elite floor leaders in the Class of 2006.

Crittenton, who has a 3.5 GPA, is a unique individual off the court. Instead of playing time sitting atop his wish list when he decides where to attend college, it's down the list behind student-athlete graduation rate, religious background and the character of the coaching staff and players.

``Don't get me wrong, playing time is important," Crittenton explained. "I will also look at the kids they've recruited above me. I'm looking to come in and start as a freshman, but the other things are just as – if not more important."

Crittenton is a big, strong physical guard who can get to the basket and finish. His outside shot needs to become more consistent, but he's already received a scholarship offer from one ACC school: Georgia Tech.

The rest of his top five includes Wake Forest, Louisville, North Carolina and Kentucky.

``I'm a long ways from making a decision," Crittenton said. "I'm just trying to concentrate on school. I don't want to make a decision yet because I haven't even seen where the guys from the Class of 2005 are going."

Crittenton recently returned from the NBA Players Association Camp and will head to the adidas Superstar Camp in a couple weeks.

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