Royal Hopes to Wear A Crown

Julian Royal, Class of 2011, is arguably the best player on star-laden Milton High School, the top rated 5-A team in Georgia. Milton made it to the State tournament for the first time in 2009 and now has their sites set higher.

You've just gotten back from the City of Palms (FL) Tournament, how did that go?

"Although we lost (by 9 to nationally ranked Winter Park, FL), it was lots of fun and playing against some of the toughest teams in the country will help us as the season goes along."

The humble Royal didn't mention that he averaged 20 points per game and made first team all-tournament despite having a broken pinkie finger on his shooting hand. He will have surgery on the finger and missed his team's first two regional games.

Now that Milton's top ranked, what are you other goals?

"We want to win the State tournament and since we have a lot of juniors, who knows what next year might bring?"

Are you finished growing?

"No sir. I'm 6'7 ½" and 215 pounds and told I'll be 6'9" or 6'10"."

Julian, you've gotten a lot of exposure and I understand the offers have followed.

"Yes sir. I have offers from: Clemson, Georgia, Northwestern, Ohio State, Maryland, Florida, Florida State, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Oregon State."

You've probably heard from a number of other schools, too?

"Yes sir. At this point I'm wide open to anything (for my choice)."

Any criteria on wanting to stay close to home or play in a certain conference?

"Not really."

How would you describe your game, you're sometimes compared to Georgia Tech's Gani Lawal, who also played for your coach David Boyd, when he was at Riverdale.

"Yes sir. I hear that all the time and I take that as a compliment because he's such a good player."

What's your favorite part of the game?

"I enjoy being a passer, being a team player."

How are your grades?

"Pretty good. I have a 3.0 GPA and grades are due this week. I plan on taking the SAT later this month."

His father, who is active in the Milton basketball program and President of the Boosters club, suggested Milton might just be gunning for the top spot nationally in high school basketball next season with three more top-rated juniors on the team. Is their a crown in Royal's future? Time will tell. Top Stories