NBPA: 'Big Al' Dominates

RICHMOND, VA. -- Although we weren't allowed to interview the players tonight at the NBA Players Association Camp in Richmond, Va.'s Siegel Center, we did enough networking with the right folks to find out who is the talk of the camp.

It is simply Al Jefferson.

The 6-11, 285-pound rising junior from Mississippi has been taking it to the rack with authority all week long. And it doesn't matter who the defender is, because he's simply too strong, too skilled and too explosive to contain. We spoke to a source close to Jefferson and were informed that he has already formulated a school list.

According to our source -- his schools of interest at this time consist of LSU, Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina, Cincinnati and Alabama. And although he may be a strong candidate for preps to the pros -- he wants to go to college.

"He thinks he needs to go to college," said our source. "I think that is the plan as of now, but with the NBA and that kind of money -- who knows what'll happen?"


After all, the beast-of-a-center has some impressive attributes like hands the size of Lake Superior, arms that go on forever and agility that is unmatched at his size and age. Plus, at 285 pounds -- he hasn't even scratched the surface of his potential. He's the type of kid that could use some conditioning and a good week at the Pete Newell Big Man camp. But make no mistake, he's still probably the best pro prospect in the entire class of 2004 -- and yes, that includes the whiz kid from Coney Island.

As we observed Jefferson in action tonight -- he did his normal things like dominating the glass by ripping rebounds out of everyones hands that dared to challenge his space. He blocked shots right and left. He ran the floor and finished in transition and his mere presence in the lane intimidated nearly everyone who came close to the lane.

Whether or not this true center from Prentis, Miss. ever wears a college uniform will remain to be seen -- but as long as someone of his caliber is considering college, we'll be following him.

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