2006 Focus: Marreese Speights

Marreese Speights has only been playing basketball for a couple years, so the 6-10, 245-pound big man has a lot of catching up to do - but he's started to make up ground after the switch to Admiral Farragut.

Just imagine a 6-foot-10, 245-pound quarterback and pitcher. Well, Marreese Speights has given up football, but he still plans to take the mound this spring.

However, now his primary sport has become basketball.

Speights transferred from Gibbs High (Fla.) and the public school system to Admiral Farragut prior to this season and was immediately re-classified as a junior due to academic deficiencies while in public school.

Academics aren't the only thing that Speights got a late start on. He didn't begin playing basketball until his sophomore season, two years ago.

``The first couple years weren't that good," Speights admitted. ‘'Basketball is my first love right now, but back then it was my last. I didn't like it because I didn't have anyone to help me."

Despite his lack of understanding for the game, Speights still managed to average 13 points and 9.5 boards per game last season at Gibbs. This year, through seven games and a 7-0 start, Speights is putting up 20 points per game.

``The ceiling is very, very high for him," Farragut coach Michael Wells said. "He's got very good hands and is learning how tp play. His work ethic has gotten better and his self-confidence is growing."

Speights, who turns 18 in August, will spend at least the next year at prep school – most likely Brewster Academy (N.H.) – before he heads to college.

So far, the schools that have expressed interest are Florida, Florida State, Miami, Georgia and Auburn.

``I want to go in and play minutes," Speights said. "I'd like to play down south if possible."


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