Wall Plays Up to the Hype

Hailed as one of the premier players in all of high school basketball, John Wall has become a must see attraction for recruiting junkies and college coaches alike. The 6-3 PG at Raleigh (NC) Word of God is fully aware of the spotlight that shines on him and rather than shying away from it, the athletic playmaker welcomes it as he looks to balance his high profile recruitment and senior season.

Often playing in showcase games where he’s matched up with another highly touted player, John Wall has learned to mix doing what makes him so good and giving the crowd a show with leading his young team.

“I’ve realized that if you turn it into a one on one matchup you’re not going to win,” said Wall. “It’s going to be me taking tough shots against him and him taking tough shots against me.”

Although he points out that rankings don’t matter, Wall still wants to live up to his status as the top floor general in the country. He knows that there’s a target on his back and he’s just doing his best to perform.

“I feel every time I step on the court I’ve got to perform. No matter what,” Wall told Phog.Net. “Everybody is going to come (watch) when you play against a good player. Also every time you step on the court and you are a top 25 player you are going to have a target on your back. I’ve got to stay humble and hungry and take care of business.”

The added pressure that comes along with being a guy that is chased by top programs like Kansas, Memphis, Duke, North Carolina State, Baylor, Miami and others is something that Wall thrives on.

“I love the pressure,” said Wall. “If you don’t have pressure some people don’t play hard. I feel with more pressure you’ve got to play harder. You’ve got to get your teammates involved and get everybody involved. But, if I just try to do it myself I know I’m going to hear it.”

Although he’s perhaps the best available player in the country, Wall says that he’s taking a step away from recruiting and declined to discuss much, if any, specifics with his situation.

“I’m just trying to focus,” said Wall of his recruitment. “We’ve got this tournament and another one when we get back and I feel after I get through these two or three tournaments I’ll start thinking about it more often.

“Right now I’m just trying to help my younger teammates out. I want to go out and try to win these big games.”

When he does sit down to focus on his recruitment and picking a school, Wall says that he’ll seek the advise of his mother, high school coach Levi Beckwith and summer coach Brian Clifton. A few others may be involved in the inner circle but at the end of the day he’d like to make a cut in his list (most likely to three) in the next month or so. From there he’d like to take some visits and then figure out which school is the best fit.

“I think where I most comfortable at home at and how my mom feels about it is big,” said Wall of what will be most important in his decision. “It’s the best fit for me. I feel like every school on my list is the best fit for me right now but it depends on how I feel when I go there and what’s the best for me for college.”

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