Local two sport standout a Cardinal fan
Pleasure Ridge Park's JuJuan Spillman was ranked among the nation's top 100 juniors as a wide receiver prospect by StudentSports.com earlier this month. Spillman, the brother of former UofL wide receiver Dontay Spillman, is also a standout on the hardwood for Coach Dale Mabrey and is likely the top junior basketball player in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Spillman, who's Panther team played Louisville Eastern High School Friday night on the new FieldTurf at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, was impressive against the Eagles playing both sides of the ball. Spillman carried 16 times for 74 yards on offense and forced a fumble from his free safety position on defense.
JuJuan talks with ITV prior to kickoff
And for a player who relys upon speed (JuJuan runs the forty in the 4.3-4.4 range), Spillman really liked the new artificial turf at PJCS.
"I really like it, it's nice," Spillman said of the FieldTurf. "When we got off the bus, we all walked out to the field and put our hands on the turf...I think it's lovely. I think it's real good and I wish they could do our field at PRP like this."
Spillman is a focused athlete on the field and takes a team approach and outlook when setting goals before the season.
"I approach the season like every other player," Spillman told ITV. "I'm just trying to win and do the things I can to help my team win and make my team successful. If that means I have to play receiver..running back...or go play anything on defense to help my team win that's what I'm going to do."
And just because the football season has just kicked off, doesn't mean we forget about basketball around these parts. Spillman, enjoyed an excellent sophomore season last year, highlighted by his 26 point outpouring against Eastern High School last February in which he drained four three pointers in a narrow loss to Rajon Rondo and the Eagles.
Spillman, a quick and explosive point guard who finishes well in transition and possesses solid range on his jump shot, showed tremendous improvement during the spring and summer. JuJuan was clearly the top guard in the sophomore all-star game last April at the Executive Inn Classic at Manual High School and was impressive again in June at the Panther Classic, scoring 16 points against Ashland and 19 against Owensboro in which he drained four three pointers.
"I've come along real well this summer," Spillman said of his improvement on the hardwood. "I improved in a lot of areas. [including] my jumpshot....Our summer league was fun. We played in Florida this year, had fun and traveled a lot....We always travel a lot. I've improved in a lot of areas and I think it's going to be a real good team this upcoming year in basketball."
Spillman on the court (ITV)
Spillman, who teams with Terrance Farley to form the state's top inside-out duo, has developed a close friendship with the 6'10 UofL commit on and off the court.
"We're close..we've stuck together all the way through school," Spillman said of his friendship with Farley. "When he needs help I help him and when I need help he helps me. We're good friends and he's a good person to be around."
The two sport star would like to try both sports on the collegiate level, at least initially.
"What I'm thinking about is that I would like to play both sports my freshman year," Spillman told ITV. "I want to come to Louisville my freshman year and just see how everything is and then if it doesn't work out with both football and basketball, I'd pick the one that I'm best at."
Spillman told ITV that the main schools he's hearing from in basketball are Louisville, Kansas and Tennessee. On the gridiron, Spillman listed Tulsa, Tennessee and Texas as the schools showing the most interest at this point.
But Spillman appears to have a clear cut favorite and preference to stay at home and attend UofL if the opportunity presents itself a year from now.
"I grew up a Louisville fan," Spillman told ITV. "My mom and my whole family are Louisville fans."