There have been all kind of rumors concerning the commitment of Nacogdoches, Texas wing prospect Damion James.
Despite the fact that nobody had a quote from James or his coach (Mark Richardson) saying that he was wavering on his commitment, there were reporters who continued to report that James was going to take other visits or enter the NBA early.
So, as is our custom at OUInsider.com we searched for the facts, and the only way to get the facts was to talk to James and Coach Richardson. Below is a transcript of our conversation from an interview Thursday morning on the Sports Animal.
JH: Coach Richardson, what do you hope Damion accomplishes this summer? And what are your thoughts on AAU basketball and what it does for your players.
MR:"I think that AAU basketball is a good thing for the kids. It keeps them busy for the summer. It gives them a chance to go out and play and really improve upon themselves. One of the philosophies that we take at Nacogodches is the summer is about the individual and the winter and the fall is about our team. This gives Damion a chance to go out and play and compete against some of the better players in the nation, and to really make some progress and have some fun while he is at it."
JH: Has his commitment to OU done anything for him as far as recognition this summer?
MR: "Ever since his commitment OU has been where he wants to go and he has told anybody who has asked him just that. He wants to play for Coach Sampson and he wants to play for OU. Everything that he is doing is not only getting him ready to play for Nacogodches High School, but he is also trying to get himself ready to play for Oklahoma, so that he can make a huge impact when he gets there."
JH: What would you like to see Damion work on this summer?
MR: "Damion is a real versatile player so to just pick out one aspect is not a very easy thing to do. The strength of his abilities are the completeness as a basketball player. That puts a pretty big challenge up in front of a young man that they have to work in every aspect to get a little bit better."
JH: Damion, there are all kinds of rumors flying around that you are not solid on your commitment to Oklahoma. Are you still solid with your commitment to the Sooners?
DJ: "Yes, sir."
JH: Do you get frustrated at some of these rumors?
DJ: "You know, a little bit because it gets old. I haven't had anybody even ask me about my commitment, so how can anybody say anything about it? It gets a little frustrating, but I guess things are alright."
JH: When it comes time for official visits do you plan on taking several or just one visit to OU?
DJ: "I will just visit Oklahoma."
JH: What kind of relationship have you already developed with Scottie Reynolds and Keith Clark, who have both also committed to the Sooners?
DJ: "I haven't really talked to Keith that much, but Scottie and I are like brothers. We are real close."
JH: Scottie says he is going to get you and Keith the ball a bunch at OU. I am sure you are looking forward to that?
DJ: "Yeah, and he will to."
JH: I have seen a video of Scottie and it looks like he can score as well and score really well.
DJ: "Oh yeah, but he told me that he wants to put the ball in a players hands and I told that I am going to get up for him. If he doesn't give me the ball then I am going to find a way to get it anyway. If I have to rebound, block shots or in take take it in transition, I am going to find a way to get the ball. I told him that, but he says he still wants to give it to me and I got a lot of love for Scott for that."
JH: Whenever a player is a high profile player like you in today's times, talk of him going early to the NBA always comes up. That has been the case with your with a couple of reports in this area, so what are your thoughts about the NBA at this time? Do you have plans of going early to the NBA or right out of high school?
DJ: "I don't think about the NBA much. I feel like I have already made a commitment to OU and that is the reality of what I am going to do. I am going to follow my plan."
JH: Then what is your plan, because I am sure the NBA is somewhere in your future?
DJ: "I am going to play four years at OU and win a National Championship. What happens before the four years happens, but I look forward to coming to OU for four years and then I will worry about the NBA."
JH: Which AAU team are you playing on?
DJ: "I am playing on the Houston Elite with many of my high school teammates on the team."
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