More Summer Hoops Coverage: Rumble in the T-Dot

Last Sunday GBW traveled to Toronto to watch one of Michigan&#8217;s hottest targets , 6-5 shooting guard <strong>Jevohn Shepherd</strong>, hit the court in an all star game. Phase 1 Basketball put on its annual <strong>&#8220;Rumble in the T-Dot.&#8221;</strong>&#8230;an annual exhibition that features talented high school hoopers from all across Ontario. If anyone doubts that Canada can produce elite level ball players, they&#8217;re definitely mistaken.

The day started off with the boys and girls “Rising Stars” games that featured the top 9th-11th grade youngsters. Following those games was the Girls Rumble in the T-Dot. All that set the stage for the main event…The Boys Rumble in the T-Dot. The top boys upperclassmen squared off in a battle for hardwood supremacy. A dunk contest was scheduled to take place before the tip of the final game, but it was postponed until this afternoon (May 22). To quell the disappointment in the air, a few of the young men decided to show off a few impromptu slams. Because he’s a participant in the contest, Jevohn Shepherd was allowed to give a brief preview of what he has in store for the competition.

His first dunk was pure power! He cocked the ball behind his head and pounded it through the rim. His second was a big time reverse. But it was Jevohn’s third dunk, despite the fact that it was unsuccessful, that was the most crowd pleasing of all! He went up for a 360 slam that was accented with a windmill at the end. Most accomplished dunkers only try one of these moves, but Jevohn’s aerial exploits are far from ordinary. The crowd was unfazed by his two missed attempts at it. They went nuts! He had plenty of height on his jump. The misses occurred because he clanged the ball off of the back of the rim both times. His athleticism is right on par with a player that Michigan recruited out of Detroit last year named…never mind.

When we saw Jevohn at the Charlie Weber Tournament a month ago, he struggled from the field thanks in large part to the fact that he was playing with a brand new team for the first time. Later in that tourney he began to show the talent that has the big boys knocking at his door. A couple of 25+ point games enticed a number of schools to visit Toronto for the open gym that we reported on a few weeks back. He reportedly wowed everyone in attendance that day. We decided to travel to Toronto to see for ourselves what all of the fuss was about. Jevohn answered the call and put on an absolute show!

The contest started off pretty slowly with both teams trading turnovers. Then Jevohn made a play that that made our long drive worth the trouble. He caught a pass on the pass on the baseline and proceeded to go up for a basket assault that would be the highlight of the evening. He took off about 6-feet from the rim, cocked his chest back as he was rising in the air, brought the ball behind his head, and then threw down an absolutely ferocious slam! This dunk brought the crowd to its feet. The slam was much like the one he completed during pre-game warm-ups, but this time it seemed as if he took off from further away and was higher in the air. The majority of his game high 31 points were converted inside of 15 feet, and a great deal of those came on rim-rattling dunks. This was a gigantic turn around from the performances we witnessed at the Weber tourney a few weeks ago. During those games most of his shots came from the outside. This time, however, he took advantage of his ability to drive to the rim and pull up…or jump over defenders on his way to the hole. That’s not to say that this young man doesn’t have a jumper. Sources that have seen him play a great deal continue to assert that his outside game is quite good. His long-range skill was apparently on full display late in the Weber. GBW will continue to hit the road throughout the summer to observe Jevohn’s game.

After the festivities were over, Jevohn took the time to speak with us and noted that attention being paid to him has been increasing. Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Memphis have been the schools in contact most frequently. However, the Canadian all star insists that Michigan is still the team on top. “Michigan is still my leader,” Shepherd said. “Coach Amaker came to visit me and it went well. We worked out and talked a little. My mom really liked him.”

Jevohn’s summer is just beginning, as he’ll be in action at a number of events in the coming months. Next up for him is the Border Classic this afternoon. Ontario’s best will be taking on an all-star team from Pennsylvania. The dunk contest will highlight the pre-game festivities. If anyone even comes close to Shepherd’s high-flying routine, we’ll be shocked!

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