He's the closest thing to Hulk that Texas high school basketball has to offer.
D'Jery Baptiste, "the Haitian Sensation," transferred to Prestonwood Christian in Dallas after playing the early part of his junior season at Episcopal School of Dallas. Prestonwood was the school attended by Julius Randle, and Baptiste is more similar to Randle than some realize.
At seven feet tall, D'Jery Baptiste offers the rare combination of size, raw physical power and agility. He moves remarkably well for a man of his size, and Baptiste is very cut--looking more like a seasoned professional than a 17-year-old kid.
Baptiste is playing AAU this summer for the Texas Titans, also a former team for Julius Randle. At a recent NBA combine, Baptiste measured a 7'4 wingspan with 10 inch hands. Baptiste is currently participating in the NBA Top 100 Camp. As he continues to show his athleticism, his stock is likely to continue to rise.
Baptiste must continue to develop a sound feel for the game. He can be stiff with the ball in his hands, but his skill set is rapidly improving. To succeed in college, he will need a go-to move--something his game currently lacks.
The comparisons to Joel Embiid are somewhat unfounded, but as Baptiste continues to get used to the game, he will become a more fluid player. The key for Baptiste is showing that his skills are developing this summer. Where he currently shows the most promise on the offensive end is with his passing. For a player that picked up the game late, his passing is impressive.
SMU made a push to get a commitment from Baptiste before other teams were aware of his potential. Many still consider SMU his leader, and he visited The Hill back in January.
The key for TCU will be getting Baptiste on campus and pitching the play-right-away opportunity. Trent Johnson and Brent Scott have a sterling record of developing big men. By the time Baptiste arrived on campus, the Frogs would be playing in a newly-renovated Daniel-Meyer Coliseum as well.
Below are several highlight videos from the past year. As you can see, Baptiste is a physically imposing figure.