My favorite camp this year was the Nike Skills Academy. Nike chose 18 select players from across the country to go to Portland for a five-day camp. I went to the camp with one of my best friends, AAU teammate Julian Wright. Julian and I can't room with each other though anymore on trips. Somehow Julian manages to only get a couple hours of sleep every night when we go to tournaments together. He can talk all night…and I can't. Some of the other players that were at the Nike Skills Academy included Louis Williams, Derrick Caracter, Richard Hendrix, Lee Bynum, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, James Keefe, and my roommate Darrell Arthur. Those are a few people to name that I got to know while I was at the camp.
My favorite AAU Tournament was the Peach Jam. It is the most select tournament in the country and we won it. Our whole team really came together at that tournament. Mickey Perry and Jamar Smith really proved themselves. We also won the consolation championship in Orlando, and got to the quarterfinals in New Orleans.
My junior year just started, and I am starting to think about college a lot more. The only visit planned right now is to California during early September. I'm really excited for the high school season to start. Our team is going to be ranked preseason top 5. We have a lot of talent and all my best friends are on the team. I'm really looking forward to the KMOX shootout in St. Louis as well. We don't know who we play yet but we know that there will be tough competition no matter what. The other two games that I'm excited for are Glenbrook South, and Milwaukee-Vincent at Northwestern. Glenbrook South is our rival and the game is always packed when we play each other.
I received a number of questions so I'll answer those now. One question that I was asked is, "what are a few possible tips I could give someone to play point guard better?" The thing that is always important to me when playing point guard is your defensive intensity. Defense starts with you on top and the other guys will follow your example from the beginning of the first practice. Some other advice I could give is to always make the extra pass. If you have a good shot but your shooting guard has a better shot, give it off to him and let all your teammates know that you have faith in them. One of my strengths that I have while playing the point is that I never try to do too much. I take care of the ball and I don't take quick shots. There are always things that people can work on and I'm trying to work on being able to get to the rim when bringing the ball up.
Another question that someone asked was about my college choices. The three biggest things that I am looking for is style of play, relationship with coach and players, and the atmosphere of the campus in general.
People wonder sometimes if quick undersized guards give me trouble. Well, first of all, if I'm matched up with a smaller guy, I always go into the post. I try to draw a double and triple team to get my teammates easy buckets. On the defensive end, I can take a half step back because I will use my length to contest the shot. When I'm guarding a guy, I always try to take away his favorite move. So if he likes to get to the rim, I'm going to make him pull up, or if he always goes back to his right hand, I will make him use his left.
Getting back to my thoughts on college, my list is finally completed. I cut it down to 9 schools and I'm very happy with the schools that are on it. To clear up all the confusion, as of right now, the schools are: California, Illinois, Michigan State, Duke, Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, and Notre Dame. I hope to have my decision made before my senior year so we'll see how it works out. I'll write another journal soon.
Email questions can be sent to Jon by clicking here. The same link can be used to send emails to other journal authors such as Anthony Goods, Drew Shiller, and James Keefe.