'Cats Eye Elite Soph. PG

HOUSTON -- It's a bold statement when your father is a former NBA point guard and your older brother is the starting floor leader for a team that went to the Final Four last season, but Jai Lucas has a chance to be the best in the family.

Jai Lucas may only be 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds, but the 16-year-old plays much bigger than his size – and he's clearly one of the elite point guards in the Class of 2007.

"It's been easier for me after my brother had the year he had last season," Jai said. "I have a lot more colleges watching me play. My dad always told me to protect my name on the court and that's what I'm trying to do."

Lucas is a born leader who can score and also make his teammates better. He needs to get stronger and become more aggressive.

Lucas, who averaged 13 points and 9 assists per game last season, said his top three are North Carolina, Texas and Kentucky.

"I love the ACC. It's big time," Lucas said of his interest in UNC. "The conference gets so much pub and there aren't any easy wins. That's what you play for."

Lucas has been taught by one of the best, John Lucas, who also coached in the NBA.

"When I first started playing, my dad told me to either do it full-time or don't do it at all," Jai said. "We worked out three or four hours a day. At first, I got tired – but then I started to learn the game and see the benefits of all the work."

"We started it once or twice per day after my dad got fired in Cleveland," he added. "The first two months was tough and at times I wanted to quit, but then I got used to it."

Now he's reaping the benefits of his father's tutelage.

"He really knows how to play," John Lucas said. "He's light years ahead in terms of his knowledge of the game. He can really shoot it and is a true point guard."

"He's so tough mentally," added Bellaire coach Bruce Glover said. "He's very skilled and has tremendous leadership qualities. He has all the intangibles that you just can't teach."

"He's really the heart and soul of the team," said his teammate, Dale Vanwright. "He runs the offense and there's no better point guard in Texas."

Jai Lucas Profile


AllWildcats Top Stories