Class of 2012 Devonta Pollard

Kemper County High School (Dekalb, MS) basketball player Devonta Pollard, one of the premier players in the class of 2012, talks about his strengths, what part of his game he is trying to improve and the latest on his recruitment.

Since last year, Devonta has added quite a bit of weight to his frame and wants to add even more.

"I am 6-8, 188, 190," said Devonta, who was 6-7 and 175 pounds this time last year. "I'm trying to get to about 220 to 225."

Possibly the most talented player in Mississippi, all classes, Devonta talked about his strengths, offensively and defensively, as a basketball player.

"Offensively, I'm good at going to the basket," said Devonta, currently ranked the 38th best player in the nation in his classification by "I can shoot a jumper but my strength is going to the basket. Most people think just because I shoot left-handed that I like going to the left but my strength is going to my right.

"Defensively, I am good at coming over and blocking shots. Also, if you talk smack to me, then that pumps me up and I can play better. If not, I have to be self-motivated."

While his talent level and skill set are some of the best in the nation, he realizes there is always room for improvement.

"I'm trying to shoot better with my left hand and develop a better jumper where I can be automatic from the outside," said Devonta, who shoots jumpers with his left hand but uses his right hand when shooting around the basket. "And, like I said earlier, if you talk smack to me, or if I play stiff competition then I can do it all. But if I'm playing against people my age, then I have to be self-motivated."

While one of the things he's still working on is his overall motivation, there is not a lack of motivation from schools in showing interest in this very talented junior.

"Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, LSU, and a lot of the SEC teams are showing interest in me," said Devonta. "None have offered scholarships yet but they are talking about it."

As for schools that he is interested in, he's not quite ready to narrow his list down, although he does know what he will be looking for when he feels it is time to choose a college.

"I have never really just sat down and thought about what schools I'm interested in, but when I do go to a school I want to go to one that will help me, first, with my education, and I want to go to a school that will be there for me and work with me to get me to where I want to be," explained Devonta.

As for where he wants to be, it's very simple, "(I want to go) to the NBA."

His mother, who was a pretty fair basketball player herself, is a big reason he wants to eventually end up in the NBA.

"Going to the NBA has been my dream ever since I started hearing them talk about my mom who played in the WNBA," said Devonta.

And I can almost guarantee that it wouldn't surprise anyone who has seen Devonta Pollard play to see him playing in the NBA in about 4 or 5 years.

Keep it on and Gene's Page to read the latest on this very talented youngster.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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