HOOPS RECRUITING: James talks about commitment

Nacogdoches, Texas junior Damion James says he'll do whatever it takes to win at Oklahoma.

Last week, the Oklahoma Sooners men's basketball team received some great news when Damion James, a 6-foot-8 wing player from Nacogdoches, Texas shocked the college basketball world by committing to Oklahoma.

James is rated as one of the top ten players in the country by most and in the top twenty by the Scout Network. And without question, James and 6-foot-9 Dallas, Texas prospect Darrell Arthur are the top two juniors in the state of Texas.

Today on the Sports Animal, Bob Barry Jr. and I had a chance to talk to the Sooners first commitment towards the 2006 class.

JH: Congratulations on your recent commitment to the Oklahoma

DJ: "Thank you very much."

BBJ: Why did you decide to play collegiate basketball at Oklahoma?

DJ: "I like the program and I like the way the Sooners play. I love Coach (Kelvin) Sampson and the coaching staff. I look forward to playing with them."

JH: Has Oklahoma always been a school that you liked or a program that you followed for some time?

DJ: "I have been following Oklahoma for the last two years and they have been a team that I really admire."

BBJ: Your coach tells us that you are 6-8 and still growing. How tall do you expect to be when you arrive at OU and what kind of game do you have?

DJ: "I do whatever it takes to win. I can play the one through five and I will do whatever it takes to win. I expect to be about 6-9 and play a small forward or wing at Oklahoma."

JH: Your coach says you have a great perimeter game and that you have had to learn how to play inside haven't you?

DJ: "Yes, sir. I haven't always been this big. I played point guard for most of my life and so when I got bigger I already had an outside game. My coach taught me how to play post."

BBJ: What is your favorite thing about basketball?

DJ: "I just love playing the game. I love the game with a passion and I love to win. I love to get my teammates the ball because that makes me look good. I love seeing my teammates hit jump shots. I just love the game and have a passion for it."
v JH: What other schools did you consider?

DJ: "I considered Texas, Syracuse, North Carolina and Texas A&M."

JH: Did you take any unofficial visits?

DJ: "OU was the only unofficial visit that I took."

JH: You have watched the Oklahoma team and program quite a bit. Do you feel your skills will fit in with the Sooners?

DJ: "I think it will be the same as my high school team in that when I am supposed to pass I will pass and when I am supposed to shoot I will shoot. That is basically what Oklahoma does."

BBJ: Why have you committed so early before your senior year?

DJ: "My coach and I talked about it and we decided that it would be in my best interest if we just went ahead and got recruiting over with. This will help in case I have to go to summer school, and just for the fact that now I don't have to worry about recruiting. I just went ahead and got it over with and focused on my books."


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