2006 Focus: Javaris Crittenton

He's got big shoes to fill. Javaris Crittenton is the future of Southwest Atlanta Christian basketball now that Dwight Howard starts for the Magic.

Javaris Crittenton began getting ready for his junior year long before classes started at Southwest Atlanta Christian this year. Knowing that Dwight Howard had used up his eligibility and went on to Orlando to be the Magic's center, Crittenton began preparing to take over as the team's leader last summer.

"Basically, the summer really helped me because it was my first season playing without Dwight," Crittenton said. "I knew I had to step up and keep my teammates involved."

At 6-foot-5, Crittenton has the size to play just about anywhere on the perimeter but he's chosen to become a point guard and he's really liking the choice. The No. 48 prospect in the Class of 2006 says he's feeling good about his development.

"I'm very comfortable. People ask me if I feel pressure but I don't. I'll just go out there and keep doing what I've been doing. If I feel the pressure it'll cause me to force things and try to create things that aren't there."

Crittenton traces his roots as a point guard back to 8th grade where he began his transformation. "I had the ball handling and the vision but my IQ had to get higher. As I grew I got mature and learned how to play the point. Being a full time point guard is the hardest position on the floor because you have to be the coach on the floor and that's hard. I have to get my teammates involved but I can still score at will."

Despite his ability to score, whatever you do, don't call him a combo. "I didn't want people to label me as a combo guard or a two guard so I passed on some shots [this summer]. I've got it under control now. I constantly study tapes of players – Magic Johnson and Jameer Nelson and Michael Jordan. I watch Jordan even though he's not a point guard because he sees the game so well."

There's been a lot of chatter behind the scenes that Georgia Tech has the inside track with Crittenton. "I really wouldn't say [who leads]," Crittenton said. "Your list changes over the course of the year. I like Tech and Tech likes me but I'll wait until next year to make any kind of decisions as far as school."

So far, Crittenton counts offers from Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Florida State. Oklahoma and Wake Forest have shown interest.

Crittenton has and will continue to get maximum exposure now and through the remainder of the year as he runs with the Atlanta Celtics.


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