NBAPA: Joell James Extended Interview

One of the most intriguing big men in the class of 2012 talks recruiting at the NBAPA Top 100 Camp.

So we saw the matchup just now between you and Shaq Cleare, looks like you tried to rip the rim off a couple times. What's it like matching up against the other stud big men here?

Joell James: It's really great getting to go up against somebody that's my size you know, it's not something I get to do every day, so I try to take advantage of it and learn how to better play against other big guys, using angles and trying to get to the rim to score.

How'd you think you did against Shaq Cleare?

I think there were highs and lows to be honest, I mean, he's a really big player, so I give myself like a 6 for the game.

How are you taking the recruiting process since you indicated only have started playing basketball in the 9th grade?

It was definitely like a shock at first, then you just get used to it, talking to recruiters and stuff, it's alright.

How are the NBA guys helping you out here at camp, are they saying anything specific that's really helpful?

I'm learning some really good life lessons you know ? They speak from the heart, everything they tell you, it's just really good, I'll never forget the things they told me. Coach Clifford told me that you gotta keep smiling, gotta keep playing the game. He said that what it really comes down to is you can only go to one college, so make a good choice.

What's the recruiting interest like for you being in Florida, is it mostly SEC schools or do you have others?

Every Florida school has offered, that's for sure, they've all called and offered scholarships to me. I've visited Miami, Florida and out of state I've visited a lot of schools as well. West Virginia, Louisville, Ohio State, Notre Dame, North Carolina, NC State, Penn State, there's just a ton.

You mentioned wanting to develop when you get to college. Do you think you're going to develop more at a program where you play alongside other good bigs, or a place where you're going to be the man?

Honestly, I don't want to be the man because then I can't learn from anybody. I would really prefer to go in and work under another big man that's already there, learn the tricks of the trade, I mean, being able to play against another bigger, stronger guy will be good for me.

It's been reported that North Carolina has had some recent communication with you, what's the process been like with them?

Their interest level I would say is moderately high, I talked to Coach Williams about a month ago, he told that's it getting down to the wire and it's between me and another big guy named Kaleb for who is he going to offer the scholarship to, so the communication has been good and I'm just waiting to see what happens.

Has the communication with the Duke staff been really different compared to North Carolina's ?

Not personally to me, but to my coaches, they are telling me that Duke is really starting to get interested now, that's all I can tell you right now.

How do you feel about schools coming in late versus schools that have been recruiting you for a while?

It's not really all that big a deal, because I know there's a lot of people out there that schools are recruiting, so I'm just taking my time and seeing how things go.

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