July Shotblocker: Abdul Ado

They send them up, he sends them back. Abdul Ado impressed me this past spring and then became national revelation this month, holding his own and even bettering some of the country's top seniors.

I generally try to reserve these superlatives for rising seniors, but in certain cases an exception simply will force my hand. That's exactly what happened in the Shotblocker category, as this month Adbul Ado established himself as one of the very best interior defenders in the country.

Ado's month began in Philadelphia at the Reebok Breakout Classic. There, he proved to be more than a tantalizing long-term talent and emphatically stepped forward as a menacing shotblocker right now.

Ado's quickness off the floor enables him to capitalize liberally on his length, as he makes himself a factor on multitudes of interior shot attempts. The confidence he gained there transferred into a team setting late in the month as well. He had competed with the Georgia Stars previously, but at the Super 64 he played with the Atlanta Celtics.

There, in Las Vegas, he repeatedly impressed onlookers and began to take on the air of a potentially elite prospect. I observed with admiration his determined defensive work against blue-chip senior big man Chase Jeter, whom Ado bothered repeatedly and essentially shut down.

Ado utilizes his left hand very well on blocks and, rather than pout at a lack of offensive touches, remains engaged at all times in an attempt to close off the lane for good.

Heading into the month I would have expected Diamond Stone — who averaged more than four blocks per game on the spring and summer summer Under Armour circuit — to claim the award, but Ado overshadowed him and everyone else to walk away with our unofficial blocks title.


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