Samuels stars in Ohio

AKRON, OH - Samardo Samuels had a big week at the Lebron James Skills Academy. Besides solidifying his place atop the 2008 rankings, the 6-foot-8 Louisville commit led his team to the camp's championship, scoring a game-high 15 points and hitting the game-winning free throw in the process.

Samardo Samuels had a big week at the Lebron James Skills Academy. Besides solidifying his place atop the 2008 rankings, the 6-foot-8 Louisville commit led his team to the camp's championship, scoring a game-high 15 points and hitting the game-winning free throw in the process.

Samuels, along with 7-0 Riek and 6-9 Dunigan, was clearly one of the elite big man at the talent-laden camp.

"He has the skills to maneuver in the post and is among the strongest bigs on the circuit," Scout.com's Evan Daniels says.

During camp, Samuels had to make some adjustments in his game, particularly when squaring off against bigger, stronger post-men – like the 7-0 Riek and 6-9 Dunigan. Samuels struggled early against each player, before coming back strong in the second half.

"I had to get used to his height," Samuels said of Riek, one of the elite juniors nationally. "He's seven-foot and has certain advantages. But I've got my advantage, too, which is my speed. I tried to use that to my advantage."

With his college decision now behind him, Samuels said he'll spend the rest of his summer working on his game and improving his already advanced skills.


Samuels performed well over
the weekend in Akron at the
LeBron James Skills Academy
"My goal for the rest of the summer is to go out there and be the player I can be," Samuels said. "Every time I go out I want to be the player on the court. I think my biggest thing is confidence. That's what I'm trying to do this summer is develop confidence in all parts of my game."

Samuels said he's very happy to have his recruitment behind him. With the pressure off, Samuels can focus on making improvements on the court.

"It's a big relief," Samuels said. "All the pressure is off and all I have to do is work to get better."

Interestingly, heading into his visit to Louisville last month, the Cardinals stood no better than fourth on his list. That all changed when he met Rick Pitino and the Louisville players, who he said were "like a family."

"It was real close that I was going to North Carolina," Samuels said. "But then I went down to Louisville and just decided they had the edge in what I was looking for in a college.

"Louisville was about the fourth team on my list. It was UConn, North Carolina and probably Florida that was ahead of (Louisville) at the time."

For a more in-depth look at Samardo Samuels, check out the next issue of Inside The Ville magazine, which will feature a two-page spread on Louisville's big commit.


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