NBPA: Sacha Killeya-Jones Spotlight
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --- Sacha Killeya-Jones is seeking high level competition and recently he's been finding a lot of it.
At the NBPA Camp this past week, he faced many of the nation's top high school post players.
"It’s great competition - the best camp there is all summer," he said. "Everyone here is the best of the best. There’s no hiding, you have to show what you can do."
Last week the 6-10 forward made three visits to the Smith Center at UNC for pick-up ball with current and former Tar Heels, as well as some top high schoolers.
"It’s a really good opportunity," he said of the Tar Heel pickup games. "I’m really grateful that they let me go over there and play with them. It’s great run - it’s great to play against competition like that. Those are the top college guys and they help me a lot with what I need to work on and they talk to me and help me with things like positioning on the court.
"Guys like Isaiah (Hicks), Kennedy (Meeks), Brice (Johnson) - those are the main three I’ve been guarding, and then Bam (Adebayo) - big Bam was over there on Sunday so we checked each other too."
Those three visits are far from the only times Killeya-Jones has been on the UNC campus. For one, he lives in Chapel Hill. And he regularly trains on campus.
"Most days when I’m not with the team, my trainer (and I) work down at the student gym so I know the bus routes and I’m pretty familiar with the campus," he said. "I just hop on the bus and go over to the gym over there. I know the area really well."
The high level competition in both settings has raised his level of play, and provided opportunities for self evaluation. His production at the NBPA Camp wasn't consistent, but there were clear signs of the strides he's made. Case in point, his 27-point game on Saturday.
"It showed me what I need to work on," he said. "Strength is a big thing for me, I’ve known that for a while. That’s just been reinforced. My shot has been falling most of the time.
"I’ve been trying to expand my game. I’ve always been a stretch 4. I’ve gotten a lot stronger - I’m in the weight room every day and that has helped my inside game. In terms of skill development, inside post hooks and soft touch around the rim and outside ball handling is big for me and getting more consistent with the three-pointer."
Since backing out of his commitment to Virginia earlier this month, Killeya-Jones has become a hot topic nationally, as evidenced by the large crowd of reporters that circled him during his interview session at the camp.
He's added offers from Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina and NC State, and says Virginia is still in the picture.
And even though his re-started recruitment is less than a month old, and he says he plans to take his time and make additional visits, this appears to be shaping up as a UK-UNC battle.
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