Shooter with a Final Four

You can never have enough guys that can put the ball in the basket. That is the name of the game. With that in mind, it is no wonder that Dillon Graham has become one of the hottest commodities In the state of Florida. The 6-4, guard from Orlando's The First Academy was an all-state player a year ago and has blown up in July this summer. Now, he is ready to take aim on a commitment.

For Dillon Graham, it all comes down to the shot. He is quickly improving different parts of his game, but college coaches everywhere are calling and writing him because he knows how to put the ball in the basket.

A guard for the Florida Rams Black team, he played alongside point guard Kasey Hill who allowed Graham to really show off his shooting ability. In the meantime, the rest of his game has progressed as well.

"They like that I am a dead eye shooter," Graham said of all the college coaches in attendance when he played. "I have a real determination to win. My whole game got better this summer. I got stronger and more confident in my game and my dribble. The defense is picking up and I am getting stronger on the defensive end."

That summer work should now carry over to his high school team in Orlando where he and his The First Academy teammates look to improve just slightly to win the ultimate goal of every high school basketball player. Graham plays the two and three spots on his team and believes they are headed back to finish some business in 2011-2012.

"We are going to be better than last year," Graham said of his team. "We lost in the state championship by six and we have everybody back and added a couple of good players. We play a whole bunch of guards so we push the ball and put up a lot of points on the board. We average like 75-80 points a game."

Playing the game since about the fourth grade, Graham said he learned how to shoot from his mother. Renee McLeod at the time played for Stetson before a knee injury kept her from finishing her college career. Renee Graham, as she is known now, will now get to live out the remainder of her basketball career through her son.

With offers from the likes of "Kansas, Kansas State, UCF, FSU, Florida, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, USF, and Vanderbilt" among others, Graham said he is on the downhill ride of finalizing his college choice.

"I am at the end of the decision process," he said before continuing. "I will probably have it done sometime by the end of the week."

With that in mind, Graham gave us a shorter list to work with and a final four schools he is interested in and will make his choice from. Florida, FSU, UCF, and Kansas get the nod heading down the stretch.

The Golden Knights of Central Florida are an easy one for Graham and the one that he is closest with both literally and figuratively.

"I have been to a lot of UCF games," Graham said. "I grew up with UCF in my backyard my whole life. They have great facilities. I definitely can see myself playing as a freshman and playing a lot. Coach Donnie Jones and his staff are great guys and I have developed a strong relationship with them."

Florida State plays in a traditionally tough basketball conference and has an offense that is really attractive to Graham.

"They are a great school and in a big conference in the ACC," Graham said of the Seminoles. "Coach Hamilton and Coach Jones, I have developed a great relationship with them, too. They have an offense that I like to run. They come off of pick and screens and do screen and rolls, stuff like that."

The Jayhawks of Kansas are a national power and are the only out of state team that Graham has some final interest in.

They are one of the best teams ever nationally, and a top program," he said of Kansas. "Coach Self and Coach Dooley are great guys and great coaches."

As for the Gators, they have a lot going for them when it concerns Graham.

"There is a lot of interest," he said. "The Gators are my dream school. I love Coach Donovan and Coach Matt McCall. The other coaches are great guys. They're in the SEC, a premiere conference. The campus is great."

The Gator nation is a huge one and it ties into Graham's family as well.

"My grandpa went to Florida and my dad loves football and we have always sat in a box at the football games," he said. My dad's friends are Bull Gators so we always sit in the box at games."

Oddly enough all those football games have come and gone and Graham has never been to Gainesville to see Florida basketball play. But, he knows all about the program and knows that Billy Donovan has a keen interest in his talents.

"Donovan loves shooters, I know that," he said. "They tell me they need shooters."

He will eventually celebrate his decision with his school in November around the early signing period. Until that time, some school is going to know that they are getting one highly coveted basketball player that knows how to score points.

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