2006 Focus: Jonathan "Whop" Hall

Jonathan Hall may not be as well-known as his Miami Senior High teammates, Dwayne Collins and Edwin Rios. But that could change soon.

Jonathan Hall isn't sure when or how he got the nickname "Whop", but it has stuck with him and it won't take long before it catches on nationally.

The 6-4, 205-pound junior wing, who transferred from Miami Northwestern to Miami Senior High (Fla.), is still a relative unknown outside of the Sunshine State. But that could change soon.

``His intensity and competitiveness are so far above everyone else," Miami Senior coach Marcus Carreno said. "His competitive nature just doesn't allow him to lose."

``At times he looks like a selfish player because his will to win is so great," Carreno added. "He's athletic, can defend and gets up and down the floor. He shoots it so well and it's just a matter of time before he gets ranked nationally."

You won't get an argument from Kenny Gillion, his coach during the summer with Team Breakdown.

"Hall is a tough kid that understands the game and has unlimited shooting range," Gillion said. "You will not find many guards that rebounds better than Hall. He is as talented as any wing in the country. The more you watch him, the more you appreciate his game".

However, he will still need to improve his defense and ballhandling.

Hall averaged 11 points last season as Northwestern advanced to the Class 6A state finals before losing to Darius Washington's Edgewater squad.

``I play hard and shoot the ball well," Hall said. "My game is kinda old-school."

Hall, 17, started last April with Coast to Coast and played with the under-16 team at Kingwood, but he left just prior to the program shutting down and played with the Team Breakdown under-16's at the Tournament of Champions.

But his coming-out-party of sorts was at the Las Vegas Big Time with the under-17's when he averaged in double-figures. He was also Team Breakdown's leading scorer at the Reebok Classic in California.

``After I went to North Carolina with Eddie (Rios) and (Dwayne) Collins, I knew Miami Senior was where I wanted to be," Hall said. "It's a better environment with far less distractions."

That's exactly what Hall, who will have to sit out the first half of this season and won't be eligible until January due to academics, needs.

``I'm working hard on getting my grades up," Hall said. "I know I have to do that before I do anything else."

Despite his low-profile, Hall rattles off a list that includes Cincinnati, Miami, Indiana, Nebraska, SMU and Florida and Florida State. According to Carreno and Hall, the Bearcats have already put forth a scholarship offer.

``There's really nothing he can't do," Carreno said. "The only thing he needs to work on is his composure and his attitude on the court."

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