TT Baltimore Hoops Tour: Myles Douglas

TT's spring tour of 'Charm City's' next wave of hoops talent continues with perhaps the best freshman in the area, one who lives in Harford County, attends school at Friends in Baltimore City and plays for the DC-based Team Takeover AAU club.

TT's spring tour of 'Charm City's' next wave of elite hoops talent continues with perhaps the best freshman in the area, one who lives in Harford County, attends school at Friends in Baltimore City and plays for the DC-based Team Takeover AAU club.

And a travelling man Myles Douglas has been, putting in the miles and especially the road work.

Helping Takeover this spring to a 24-2 mark and a No. 5 ranking in the county in the 15-and-Unders, the selfless Douglas has played nearly every position for Takeover as they have swept titles from Ohio to Virginia and other places in between.

Takeover won the King James Tournament in Ohio last month, took the Big Shots tournament title in Richmond as well, and streaked to the finals of the prestigious Boo Williams Tournament two weeks ago in Virginia.

Team Takeover Head Coach Douglas Martin has a core of young, team-oriented hoopsters who play for each other while they don't even keep stats. They are led on the floor by Douglas and Paul VI freshman point guard Aaron Thompson. Assistant coach Mike McCormack loves Douglas' versatility and upside and the way he plays the team game:

"As of right now, Myles is what I call a 'jack-of-all-trades,'" McCormack said. "He is extremely versatile, he can play any position including even point guard. And he actually has played point guard a lot for us this year when our starting point guard (Thompson) has come out of the game. So he is extremely versatile and his ceiling is astronomically high with his potential and the many things he can do."

The long and bouncy, 6-foot-7, 195-pounder just wrapped his freshman year at Friends in Baltimore. But the season was cut in half after a knee injury sustained early. Still, Douglas went on to average about 18 points per game and six rebounds per game, all for a reloading program not known as a hoops hotbed. But Douglas is helping change that profile some for coach Albert Holley, formerly of Milford Mill, who has breathed new life into the program.

Offensively, he can do a little bit of everything, from slashing and finishing well above the rim to knocking down three-pointers with his smooth stroke. An explosive athlete with long arms, he disrupts the passing lanes and soars in to block shots from the weakside.

"Things are going well," Douglas said of his debut season with Takeover this spring. "Everyone is meshing well together, and everyone has talent so you have to play well with each other to be successful."

Douglas sees himself ultimately as a small forward, but he likes pitching in up top as well. And he's still growing, doctors told him in December.

"I think small forward, but I move to point guard quite often. College ball, maybe since I play point guard a lot now for Takeover and if I develop more, maybe I will try that some as well," Douglas said.

Added McCormack:

"I really see Myles being a point-forward, meaning he is going to play a lot of the post positions and the forwards just because of his size. But literally he is going to be one of those guys who is going to be able to grab a rebound, push the ball and start the offense, and get everyone involved because he's extremely unselfish. And if he has to he can definitely turn it up on the offensive end scoring-wise."

The focus now is just strength for the long and lean athlete. McCormack said Douglas is beginning to adjust more to the physical demands of AAU ball on a top national circuit, "and we really are one cohesive unit. And Myles just plays well, and plays within the team concept, and that's why we are so successful.

"Myles highest scoring game I want to say was against King James, but I couldn't tell you the number because we don't believe in that. The only statistic we keep is wins and losses."

So far, Maryland has seen Douglas for the last year, both assistants Bino Ranson and Dustin Clark, in open gyms and tournaments, while Kansas State reached out this past month. Miami, Richmond, Mt. St. Mary's and several others have been involved for a while, too. Growing up, Douglas liked Kentucky, Syracuse and Missouri most.

He also likes the Terps, attended a few games this season, and knows Ranson well.

"Maryland, I like the program. Right now, they had a little tough time this year because they don't have an identity because of all those transfers this year," Douglas said. "But as a school I really like Maryland. And Bino, he is a great guy, a very good coach, and lots of enthusiasm."

Douglas took in the Terps-FSU game at Comcast this winter.

"It was a great feeling. The fans, they get you going even if you aren't doing as well as you could. So if you go there you will get a lot of support," Douglas said.

As far as colleges, Douglas will next trip (after the July open period) to Miami for an Elite camp and possibly the same at Duke. He has team camps with Friends coming up this summer at Penn, Navy, George Mason and VCU, as well as a Hoop Group team camp. In between he'll be working on his diverse game.

"Just getting to the basket and finishing with contact more because they are not going to call as many fouls at the next level," Douglas said of focal points this summer. "And creating for others because scoring will come if you play as a team.

"And playing with this team, you just can't slack off because you never know what team could beat you so everyone has to play well. And that means even at practice, you have to go hard to get to this spot."

Myles Douglas is definitely a name to keep in mind for the future as Baltimore's next wave of top-shelf, young talent comes of age.

"He is starting to definitely generate a buzz," McCormack added.

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