Long Beach State called, U.C Irvine called, NAU came down to watch a practice, but after a long spring and summer club season 6'4" Ladi Makinde sits talking to me on the phone and recruiting or his future college career is the last thing on his mind. "Coach, you should see what we are doing in practice, run, run, run! We are going to be ready! AND SO AM I"!
"We play Saguaro our 3rd game, Chapparal, and all the top teams. Not Apache Junction though, Hopefully I can go up against Elman in the playoffs"! Talk about focused, Makinde is focused, excited and tired. "Coach is killing us with running, but I need it so I can show everyone". Show everyone what? That your a 6'4" athlete that could be the best defender in the state. You got hops? You can take the ball to the hole and rise up to tatoo someones forhead with leather? Or could it be that Shadow Mountain will be excecuting the "run & stun" offense in AWA?
Makinde is perhaps the most unselfish player in AZ that should be! He can run the floor and finish with the best. He clearly has the ability to drop 25/game if need be. He can shoot it with someone in his face, and dish it when needed. But he keeps talking about the team. How crazy is that. A talented athlete who talks about Tyrone Nichols balling in practice. Kenny Whitis being the one to keep everything together, and Coach running them to oblivion so Shadow Mountain can win a Championship. Makinde is a team player, and gives no second thought to do otherwise.
Ladi Makinde will have a stellar year, but the teams success is all he cares about. The Colleges will call and he will go on to play College Basketball, but his excitment and motivation is for his Shadow Mountain teammates and Coach Connor. You gotta love that.
Ladi keeps talking and talking and talking. Finally I told him I gotta go. His last words to me had the same excitment as his first, "Coach T, we are gonna ball this year, you have to come check us out'.
Don't worry my man, I'll be there.
Makinde, a PrepAZ.com 2nd team All-State preseason selection.