MID-SOUTH RECRUITING: Is prep hoops standout Jordan Reed Chicago-area’s best kept secret?

STAR WATCH ---- Jordan Reed, who is rated as a four-start prospect by various recruiting analysts, is a rising senior point guard for Plainfield (Ill.) East High School. (Photos submitted by R. Reed)

STAR WATCH —- Jordan Reed, who is rated as a four-start prospect by various recruiting analysts, is a rising senior point guard for Plainfield (Ill.) East High School. (Photos submitted by R. Reed)

Robert Reed, the father of Chicago-area high school basketball standout Jordan Reed, describes himself as a self-proclaimed “basketball enthusiast.”

Surely, he has valid reasons for doing so.

Amongst the grandest reasons Robert Reed is one who possesses a rather high basketball IQ is that he has worked diligently throughout the years to help steer his son in the right direction — on and off the court.

Nowadays, it seems, the tireless contributions and support of Robert Reed and his wife, Mona, have benefited their son mightily, considering he has flourished immensely on Chicago’s tradition-rich basketball circuit in recent years.

Jordan Reed, who is rated as a four-start prospect by various recruiting analysts, is a rising senior point guard for Plainfield (Ill.) East High School.

BORN TO PLAY --- Robert and Mona Reed first handed their son a basketball when he was in the second grade and, according to the couple, the rest is history.

BORN TO PLAY — Robert and Mona Reed first handed their son a basketball when he was in the second grade and, according to the couple, the rest is history.

A speedy, slim 165-pounder who has the ability to create his own shot, thus emerge as a game-changer, or sorts, Jordan has quickly come under the radar by a slew of mid-major Division 1 schools in recent years as the featured player for Plainfield coach Braden Adkins’ squad.

“I always tell him to keep working hard and don’t let anything get in the way of his success,” Adkins told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson. “We’ve seen a maturation process since he’s been around the program a few years now. He knows what the coaches expect of our team. I just expect him to lead those younger guys.”

To get a thorough understanding of how much Jordan Reed has jelled considerably in the recent years, look further than how his parents has steadfastly gone about helping put his dazzling skills on display over the years.

WATCH JORDAN VIA YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkmEfLFkhf8&feature=em-share_video_user

For starters, Robert and Mona Reed first handed their son a basketball when he was in the second grade and, according to the couple, the rest is history.

“Jordan hasn’t looked back since,” Robert Reed said.

Jordan3If nothing else, it seems this vibrant, enthusiastic athlete has made a strong case in recent years that he’s destined to fulfill his lofty dream of playing major college basketball.

And whatever lies beyond that.

Take, for instance, how Jordan, has gone about evolving as a fixture on the AAU circuit in recent years, having played in a number of national tournaments — most notably one run by LeBron James — in several major cities while earning well over 100 medals as a result.

MORE JORDAN IN ACTION: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKxNyXt_a3U&feature=em-share_video_user

Jordan also played AAU ball for Evan Turner’s Buckeyes in which he averages 21 points, five assists, and five steals per game. In addition, he made 89 percent of his free throws and shot an impressive 47 percent from beyond the arc — numbers that ultimately gave way to him being named a member of the “5-Star All Star Game” in 2014.

Add to the fact that Jordan Reed has trained several times a week with former University of Wisconsin All-American and current Charlotte Hornets rookie Frank Kimisky and local trainer Lamont White, and it’s no wonder this kid has become one of the Chicago area high school’s most sought-after recruits for the Class of 2016.

In assessing Jordan’s overall display in recent years, Robert Reed acknowledges that about which he’s intrigued the most is his son’s increase in confidence.

To his credit, he has a tear-jerking story as more valid proof to complement that high basketball IQ.

FOLLOW JORDAN VIA TWITTER: @ItsJReed; @pehsathletics; @PEHSOrangeCrush.

“The memorable story I’d like to share is last year he played in the Pekin Holiday tournament, when our big gun — who is presently playing for the Illinois Fighting Illini, Aaron Jordan — was looking to take the last shot,” Robert Reed explained. “As he drove (to the basket), the entire team collapsed on him and the ball floated over the rim. Jordan caught it and put it up at the buzzer, sending us to the championship and beating top recruit Nojel Eastern of Evanston Township. That did wonders for his confidence.”

Indeed it did.

Jordan Reed with Jabari Parker

Jordan Reed with Jabari Parker

Nowadays, it seems that Jordan, armed with a slew confidence that only he can contain, figures to enjoy what is expected to be a memorable final prep season for a Bengals team that finished 18-12 last season.

“I work hard in all that I do and as the oldest son of five,” Jordan Reed said. “I have a “can-do” attitude and now learning how to persevere. I have been through a lot during my short time here on earth. I’ve lived through a good friend passing away suddenly while he played the game of basketball he loved so well, to watching my mom be deployed twice to Iraq…keeping the faith that she’d come back in one piece and of sound mind.”

Fortunately for Jordan, even in the wake of his off-the-court challenges in recent years, the basketball court has always been his sanctuary, of sorts.

“I’ve been the back bone for our basketball organization and I am always positive and up-beat even in the midst of trials in my life,” Jordan Reed explains. “My friends tease me sometimes about that military brat aspect, but it’s made me who I am and has helped shaped my existence.

Jordan Reed with Penny Hardaway

Jordan Reed with Penny Hardaway

“What I love most about basketball is dunking on someone,” Jordan Reed said with a grin. “But I do love dunking the ball. What I really love is the freedom I have out there when I’m playing.”

A favorable trend college scouts and recruiters will almost certainly come to embrace around this time next year.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

AndreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Rosa Fort RB Kevin Perkins progressing mightily, generating interest from colleges

There’s no other way to put it.

Sonia Robinson was downright worried.

Worried whether her son would become acclimated to what was at the time his new sport.

KP1Worried whether he would become a fixture while competing against the finest prep footballers in Mississippi.

Worried whether he would manage to perform free of any devastating injuries.

Worried whether he would handle the immense and sometimes brutal challenges that emerge through athletics.

Fortunately for Kevin Perkins, Jr., a senior standout at Rosa Fort High, he has adjusted superbly as a member of the fraternity that is major high school football.

A multiple-position athlete for the Lions, Perkins is the catalyst for a Rosa Fort team that has already atoned for last year’s disastrous 4-8 finish.

That’s because the Lions, who are idle this week, have won each of their five regular season outings, having done so in rather impressive fashion. What’s even more impressive for a Rosa Fort team that boasts postseason aspirations is that three of its wins have come on the road, including last week’s 7-3 gutsy triumph at Clarksdale.

MAKING MOM PROUD --- Fortunately for Sonia Robinson's son, Kevin Perkins, Jr., a senior standout at Rosa Fort High, he had adjusted comfortably as a member of the fraternity that is major high school football.  A multi-position athlete for the Lions, Perkins is the catalyst for a Rosa Fort team that has already atoned for last year’s disastrous 4-8 finish. (Photos submitted by S. Robinson)

MAKING MOM PROUD — Fortunately for Sonia Robinson’s son, Kevin Perkins, Jr., a senior standout at Rosa Fort High, he had adjusted comfortably as a member of the fraternity that is major high school football.
A multi-position athlete for the Lions, Perkins is the catalyst for a Rosa Fort team that has already atoned for last year’s disastrous 4-8 finish. (Photos submitted by S. Robinson)

Make no mistake, Perkins, a 6-foot, 215-pounder, has been an integral force for a Lion offensive unit that has averaged near 30 points through five contests.

A team that averages a little more than 200 yards on the ground, Perkins is the team’s leading rusher with 679 yards on 74 carries. To his credit, he is the team’s marquee player, particularly on the offensive side of ball, considering he averages 135.8 yards rushing per game and 9.2 yards per carry. In addition, he has accounted for 11 of the Lions’ 12 rushing touchdown.

Not bad for a kid who, through just five games, has already eclipsed his rushing total of last when he amassed 664 yards on the ground and eight rushing scores.

Most importantly, it’s safe to assume that his mother appears more relaxed nowadays, in large part because her son has been as good as advertised.

“I never looked at him as a football player,” Robinson told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson. “It was his (high school) baseball coach who convinced him to try out for the team during his sophomore year. It actually shocked me to see him become great at a sport that is so physical in such a short period of time.”

That Perkins has adjusted masterfully in recent years, it seems that college scouts and recruiters have taken notice of his rise as a high school standout.

That’s because according to Perkins, Mississippi State, Mississippi Delta Community College, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Alcorn State, Southeast Missouri State, and Copiah Lincoln Community College all have expressed interest in a three-year starter who figures to witness that list increase as the season progresses.

STOCK RISING --- According to Perkins, Mississippi State, Mississippi Delta Community College, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Alcorn State, Southeast Missouri State, and Copiah Lincoln Community College all have expressed interest in a three-year starter who figures to witness that list increase as the season progresses.

STOCK RISING — According to Perkins, Mississippi State, Mississippi Delta Community College, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Alcorn State, Southeast Missouri State, and Copiah Lincoln Community College all have expressed interest in a three-year starter who figures to witness that list increase as the season progresses.

“I want college coaches to know that I am eager to play,” said Perkins, when asked what he wants college coaches to know about him as he continues to audition for a scholarship. “I will go after every play 100 percent each time.”

As for his keen ability to adjust on both sides of the ball, Perkins said, “I am a versatile skills player, and if the ball is in my hands, you can count on me. I work out three times out of a week if I am not practicing. My biggest strengths are running people over, using my speed to get past the opponent, and blocking. My weakness is getting hit below the knees.”

Rosa Fort coach Edwin Norwood on Thursday said he is thoroughly pleased with how Perkins has gone about upgrading his mechanics over the years.

“Over the past three seasons, Kevin has developed as the prototypical student athlete,” Norwood said. “He embodies everything a coach could ask for in a student athlete. Not only does he take care of business on the field, but in the classroom as well. Kevin finished all of major credits for graduation his junior season and has already qualified academically for college. He’s a hard-worker, respectful, and a natural leader. His success on the field is a direct reflection of that. He is the first one on the field and in the weight room and the last to leave.”

So much for mom’s constant worrying.

There’s no other way to put it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

AndreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

North Carolina prep hoops standout Dakari Johnson having Mid-South, regional impact

STAR WATCH --- Dakari Johnson is the starting point guard for Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  Having adopted No. 10 as his jersey number, this 15-year-old rising basketball standout has become a fixture on the amateur hoops circuit in years, most notably on an AAU platform in which he’s had the luxury to competing with a host of players of former NBA All-Stars. (Photos submitted by G. Johnson)

STAR WATCH — Dakari Johnson is the starting point guard for Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Having adopted No. 10 as his jersey number, this 15-year-old rising basketball standout has become a fixture on the amateur hoops circuit in years, most notably on an AAU platform in which he’s had the luxury to competing with a host of players of former NBA All-Stars. (Photos submitted by G. Johnson)

In case you don’t know him, allow Dakari Johnson to introduce himself.

For starters, Johnson is the starting point guard for Northwood Temple Academy in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Having adopted No. 10 as his jersey number, this 15-year-old rising basketball standout has become a fixture on the amateur hoops circuit in years, most notably on an AAU platform in which he’s had the luxury to competing with a host of players who are sons of former NBA players.

A speedy, versatile athlete who stands at 6-foot even and weighs 175-pound, Johnson, by many recruiting experts’ standards, would be considered a rather big point man who, in all likelihood, will present mostly a size advantage for the opposition, particularly at the high school ranks.

Most importantly, for an athlete who figures to emerge as one of the nation’s finest point guards for the Class of 2018 by the time his prep career ends, Johnson’s all-around display at the AAU ranks has given way to a wealth of experience for a kid his age, a pivotal attribute that figures to prove beneficial for a Northwood Academy team that will be aiming to rebound from last year’s unsatisfactory 13-16 finish.

In a nutshell, as Johnson goes, the possibility exist that so could the Eagles in 2015-16.

By all accounts, that Johnson is expected to witness his role increase mightily this upcoming season for Northwood Academy essentially brings Eagle coach Chris Lattimer to smiles whenever he is asked to assess the skills and progress of his prized floor general.

“Dakari is the type of point guard college coaches love,” Lattimer told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson on Tuesday. “He has a very quick first step, extremely high (basketball) IQ, and has a deadly jump shot.”

What’s equally impressive for Johnson who, for the past couple of years, has thoroughly embraced the golden opportunity of putting his immense skills on display in tradition-rich, basketball-crazed North Carolina, is that he has evolved into an efficient ball handler and scorer, something about which will almost certain draw rave reviews from college scouts and recruiters during the course of what is expected to be a memorable prep hoops stint for the talented floor general.

GOOD AS ADVERTISED --- What’s equally impressive for Johnson who, for the past couple of years, has thoroughly embraced the golden opportunity of putting his immense skills on display in tradition-rich, basketball-crazed North Carolina, is that he has evolved into an efficient ball handler and scorer, something about which will almost certain draw rave reviews from college scouts and recruiters during the course of what is expected to be a memorable prep hoops stint for the talented floor general.

GOOD AS ADVERTISED — What’s equally impressive for Johnson who, for the past couple of years, has thoroughly embraced the golden opportunity of putting his immense skills on display in tradition-rich, basketball-crazed North Carolina, is that he has evolved into an efficient ball handler and scorer, something about which will almost certain draw rave reviews from college scouts and recruiters during the course of what is expected to be a memorable prep hoops stint for the talented floor general.

Take, for instance, Johnson’s performance a couple of summers ago in the YBOA National Championship during which he had had gone on a tear offensively — early and often.

A then-eighth grader who assumed a role on a 10-grade squad assembled by his father and retired military vet, Gregory Johnson, Dakari — known widely as “Kari” — essentially enjoyed an amateur hoops coming-out-party, of sorts. That’s when he caught by registering a team-high 28 points in the title game, a dazzling feat that led to him being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Consequently, Kari was the catalyst for East Hoke Middle’s basketball team, having guided the squad to consecutive championships, thus being christened the team’s Most Valuable Player.

Add to the fact that this up-and-coming hoops prodigy, who boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the collegiate and professional levels, have competed against a slew of the nation’s finest amateur players, and it’s no wonder many who have followed the hoops prowess of Kari believe he will be as good as advertised this upcoming season.

And beyond.

Once again, in case you don’t know him, remember the name: Dakari Johnson.

“He started playing basketball at the age of five,” said Gregory Johnson, assessing his son’s rise as a young baller. “We felt basketball could be his thing because at that age, he was so much faster than all the other kids his age. The coaches depended on him to bring the ball up the court. I guess you could say he was destined to be a point guard. How I knew he could be special came at a parks and recreation basketball draft. That was my first year coaching parks, and recreation basketball and I was away with the military the previous year, so many of the coaches didn’t know me. So my son was the first name came up in the draft. I would watch these grown men rant and rave over Dakari.”

Fortunately for Kari, many who have followed him on the amateur circuit in recent years have been ranting and raving ever since.

Given his wealth of success in recent years, don’t expect that change anytime soon.

NATIONAL STANDOUT? Add to the fact that this up-and-coming hoops prodigy, who boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the collegiate and professional levels, have competed against a slew of the nation’s finest amateur players --- most notably against Kenny Smith, Jr., the son of former NBA player and current TNT NBA analyst Kenny Smith --- and it’s no wonder many who have followed the hoops prowess of Kari believe he will be as good as advertised this upcoming season.  And beyond.

NATIONAL STANDOUT? Add to the fact that this up-and-coming hoops prodigy, who boasts lofty aspirations of playing at the collegiate and professional levels, have competed against a slew of the nation’s finest amateur players, several of whom are sons of former NBA players, it’s no wonder many who have followed the hoops prowess of Kari believe he will be as good as advertised this upcoming season.
And beyond.

Among the reasons is Kari enjoyed a stellar freshman campaign in which he averaged 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. In addition, he was named to the All-Conference team, while placing third overall in the voting for Conference Player of the Year as a freshman.

Still, his masterful display as a newcomer enabled him to garner All-Tournament honors as well as the County’s Rookie of the Year, team MVP and captain.

A pretty compelling introduction for a floor general who, well, in case you don’t know him.

“He is a leader and a winner, and his game will continue to progress,” Lattimer said of Kari. “Dakari is a motivated student and has outstanding character.”

Let alone a kid whom college scouts and recruiters will come to know pretty well this year.

And beyond.

Once again, in case you don’t know him, remember the name: Dakari Johnson.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

AndreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Closing Carver High is robbing South Memphis of some history, Johnson writes

COMMENTARY

 

AndreIn Memphis’ basketball-crazed city, it has often been noted that the success of University of Memphis Tiger hoops has brought about a sense of unity to what many describe as a segregated city.

For those affiliated with Memphis George Washington Carver High, football seeming has been the trend that has united this South Memphis-based institution.

As early as last year, for instance, those with close ties to Carver High School adopted the notion that suggest the school had virtually nothing on which to hang its hat — a far cry from the glory days in which this institution was deemed arguably one of the finest in the Memphis metropolitan area.

carverBy all accounts, there were no significant achievements and nothing about which to brag, unlike the school’s cross-town rival Booker T. Washington which, to this day, is credited largely for luring President Barack Obama to speak at its 2011 commencement exercises.

Nevertheless, the resurgence of the Cobra football program — one that endured years of futility — essentially has brought about a renewed sense of enthusiasm and splendor to a tradition-rich institution that unfortunately has faced an array of obstacles in recent years.

So much, in fact, that Carver seemingly has been on life support in recent years.

And left for dead.

Barely clinging to a pulse.

And a slight heartbeat.

Still, despite an assortment of hardships and struggles and hurdles on which to clear, those affiliated with Carver weren’t taking defeat lying down. In other words, they sensed that some strategic plan had to be implemented to prevent school officials from permanently closing the doors of an institution that is still an integral part of the South Memphis community.

For starters, a Booster Club has been assembled to devise plans to keep the school functioning, despite its slew of past challenges.

Carver Booster Club President Robert 'Razorback' Jones

Carver Booster Club President Robert ‘Razorback’ Jones

According to a spokesperson for the Booster Club, the group is working in conjunction with other South Memphis-based organizations to keep Carver up and running, groups that are headed by renowned Memphis pastor Ralph White of Bloomfield Baptist Church and the George Washington Carver National Alumni Association.

According to Charles Hayes, a Carver High graduate and booster, there have been in recent years a number of meetings with local and county board members to discuss and formulate an alternative plan to Carver’s proposed closure.

The school reportedly is currently faced with three key options.

Among those: Transform Carver as a designated Innovation Zone (or I-Zone) institution, which would allow the school to receive additional funding through a School Improvement Grant (or SIG) to implement one of four state-approved turnaround models in order to improve student achievement.

Also, Carver could be transitioned into a charter institution. But according to Carver boosters, this option is one they are lobbying to prevent, in large part because according to recent studies, there usually is an increase in academic achievement and student enrollment for approximately two years before the dreaded leveling effect takes place, thus giving way to an academic downward.

Thirdly, the school can cease operations all together, something about which those affiliated with Carver are earnestly trying to prevent. As it stands, one booster acknowledges, the I-Zone option may perhaps be the most reasonable solution as those boosters and alumni members continue to work tireless to prevent the demise of arguably one of South Memphis’ most identifiable establishments.

Thank God for sports which, to Carver’s credit, has been the talk of campus, the talk of South Memphis.

It is because of the resurgence of the football program that Carver is helping make a solid case that it is still very much relevant, let alone very much a part of Memphis history.

Therefore, closing the doors of this institution would undoubtedly be a bigger travesty than, say, the destruction of Libertyland.

A tradition-rich institution that was established in 1957 and is considered one of Memphis’ oldest and most popular public schools, Carver’s current school building has been occupied since the spring of 2000. The gymnasiums, band room, and one corridor of classrooms are the only areas of the original building. In addition, the library occupies most of the building’s third floor. The library, in fact, features twenty-five computers, two adjacent classrooms and a resource room.

A longstanding establishment that traditionally has served grades eight through 12 in the past, Carver currently serves grades nine through 12, a school that customarily provides classes and services for students with homebound requirements and special and behavior disabilities. George Washington Carver High School is a Title I School and generally serves students in the South Memphis area of the city.

Which is to say that shutting the doors of this tradition-rich institution essentially is robbing Memphis of more history, robbing Cobra Nation of its compelling, yet recognizable red and white colors other schools had feared for years, thus robbing South Memphis of something that, quite frankly, residents of that community had come to embrace.

So, please, school officials, do the right thing.

Listen to the students.

Listen to the administrators.

Listen to longtime athletic director and boys basketball coach Stevenson Bratcher.

Listen to the boosters.

Listen to the slew of alumni member from near and afar.

Do whatever it takes to keep Caver High open.

Because given the tireless, resilient efforts exhibited by those with close ties to the school, it’s safe to assume the Bluff City needs this tradition-rich institution.

And vice versa.

Because truth be told, closing Carver High is robbing South Memphis of some history.

Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Throwback Thursday: Wrestling Trivia Tonight!

kamala_kimcheeWhat better day than Throwback Thursday to have Pro Wrestling Trivia with Kevin Cerrito?  Belltime is at 8PM tonight at The Green Beetle.

Kevin billed it as “trivia too big for WrestleMania.”  He could be right because there’s no telling what we will see in tonight’s Costume Contest!  That’s right – dress as your favorite wrestler!

Prizes include Lucha Libre tickets for September 19th in Memphis, Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame T-shirts and more.  View the official invite here.

This week’s classic clip comes with a trivia question of its own.  Who played the role of Kamala’s manager Kim Chee?  I’ll leave you with footage from the Ugandan Giant Kamala at the Mid-South Coliseum.

Don’t forget:  Roundhouse Revival 2 comes your way on Sunday October 4th at Mid-South Coliseum!  This is a FREE event and will feature pro wrestling!  Main event of the afternoon will be Dustin Starr with Maria vs. Derrick King!  For more info, click here.

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and Cerrito Live. Follow him @DustinStarr.

SEE ALSO:

Manassas hoops standout Joslynn Basemore excelling with solid parental support

When Manassas basketball standout Joslynn Basemore decided she would like to give a competitive hoops a try nearly a decade ago, her mother wasted little time conducting a one-on-one meeting with her.

As Michelle Basemore explains, it was imperative that she and daughter got a thorough understanding.

Michelle“See…when she started playing ball, we had this understanding that in order to play, she had to bring me home all A’s regardless of what the school says…that you must have a C average,” Michelle Basemore told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson. “That just didn’t do it for me. And since day one, she has been bringing all A’s home and staying focus on training on and off the court.”

For Joslynn Basemore, it is because of her mother’s stern but strict approach, coupled with her fiancée’s — Daren Peterson — influential guidance and impact that has greatly enabled Joslynn Basemore to excel in the classroom and on the hardwood, thus make a solid case to solidify an athletic scholarship.

A 5-foot-4 senior combo guard and the team’s leading scorer, Joslynn Basemore is the featured player for a Manassas squad that will be aiming to surpass last year’s 14-10 finish. Since joining the Lady Tigers’ program three seasons ago, Joslynn Basemore admittedly harbored concerns as to whether for a thriving young basketball player in this hoops-crazed Bluff City, she’d generate the essential attention at a school that is housed in inner city North Memphis.

To her credit, though, not only has she garnered interest from a couple of schools — most notably Georgia State and Austin Peay State — but if she manages to duplicate the success she enjoyed the previous two seasons as the Lady Tiger’s best offensive threat, the possibility exists that Joslynn Basemore will almost certainly find herself decked out in a college basketball uniform around this time next year.

Of course, she’ll have her mother and father to thank.

“In the last three years, my dad, Daren Peterson, has been my biggest support by training me,” Joslynn Basemore said. “He has worked with me on and off the court on enhancing my skills. I also train with my AAU team (in the offseason) as well, and also train with (Manassas teammates). I always push myself by keeping a ball in my hand at all times and doing dribbling drills daily when I’m not studying.”

DarenMichelle Basemore and Daren Peterson are former athletes which, for Joslynn Basemore, have provided her with an added advantage, or sorts, as a young, thriving student athlete.

Even aside from their demanding work schedules, this couple has become devoted to ensuring that Joslynn Basemore is generating the necessary exposure that will prevent her from going unnoticed, especially for an athlete who has proven time and again since entering the high school ranks that she possesses the skills, mindset, and maturity to play at the collegiate level.

A program director at Vatterott College, Daren Peter is native Memphian and former Memphis Tech High and Northwest Mississippi Community College basketball player. In addition, he is a former U.S. soldier, having served in the United States Navy, where he was a member of its Fleet Team.

Michelle Basemore, on the other hand, is a native of Horseshoe Lake, Arkansas, and works as a bill collector/debt counselor in the Memphis-metropolitan area. She is a former basketball standout for Hughes (Ark.) High.

COLLEGE HOOPS MATERIAL --- A 5-foot-4 senior combo guard and the team’s leading scorer, Joslynn Basemore is the featured player for a Manassas squad that will be aiming to surpass last year’s 14-10 finish. Since joining the Lady Tigers’ program three seasons ago, Joslynn Basemore admittedly harbored concerns as to whether for a thriving young basketball player in this hoops-crazed Bluff City, she’d generate the essential attention at a school that is housed in inner city North Memphis.  To her credit, though, not only has she garnered interest from a couple of schools --- most notably Georgia State and Austin Peay State --- but if she manages to duplicate the success she enjoyed the previous two seasons as the Lady Tiger’s best offensive threat, the possibility exists that Joslynn Basemore will almost certainly find herself decked out in a college basketball uniform around this time next year.

COLLEGE HOOPS MATERIAL — A 5-foot-4 senior combo guard and the team’s leading scorer, Joslynn Basemore is the featured player for a Manassas squad that will be aiming to surpass last year’s 14-10 finish. Since joining the Lady Tigers’ program three seasons ago, Joslynn Basemore admittedly harbored concerns as to whether for a thriving young basketball player in this hoops-crazed Bluff City, she’d generate the essential attention at a school that is housed in inner city North Memphis.
To her credit, though, not only has she garnered interest from a couple of schools — most notably Georgia State and Austin Peay State — but if she manages to duplicate the success she enjoyed the previous two seasons as the Lady Tiger’s best offensive threat, the possibility exists that Joslynn Basemore will almost certainly find herself decked out in a college basketball uniform around this time next year.

In helping her daughter flourish as one of Shelby-Metro’s top players for the Class of 2016, Michelle Basemore acknowledges among the notable lessons she’s learned through sports that she’s instilled in Joslynn Basemore is to take the initiative to raise the bar in excelling on and off the court.

“One of the main lessons that I have learned and have tried to carry over to her is that you never give up on the things that you want regardless of what it looks like and what others may say,” Michelle Basemore explains. “Joslynn has had to make the same move I did when I was in school, moving from one city to another. But I didn’t have anyone to push me to keep going and to pursue what I loved at the time which was basketball. So I push her to continue to strive to be her best even the more because she is the new kid on the block. She must understand that doesn’t mean that she has to take the backseat she can set the bar and be the standard.”

Said Peterson: “I always tell her that by working hard, everything else will take care of itself, and that if she is going to be a leader, she needs to be a leader on and off the court.”

In addition, Peterson and his fiancée have become fixtures during the summer months when their daughter is putting her skills on display on the AAU circuit. Both, in fact, agree that never do they grow weary of supporting a well-disciplined, teachable child who routinely goes above and beyond to ensure the Manassas girls basketball program remains relevant in this hoops-crazed city.

To her credit, she’s done just that, something about which her parents say college scouts and recruiters shouldn’t overlook or take for granted.

“The sky is the limit for her because not only does she excels in basketball with a 22.5 (points per game scoring) average but she has a 4.3 GPA, which puts her in the top of her class as well as she is part of The National Honor Society,” Peterson said. “Even with all the gifts and talents that she possesses, the sky is the limit because she believes in putting God first in everything that she does and she thanks Him first and foremost, knowing that if she continues to bless Him, He will continue to bless her. She should hold on to the fact the greater is coming so the sky is the limit.”

Spoken like true, loving, supportive parents.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

AndreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Is Cal-area footballer Dalvin Jamal-Milton being overlooked by Mid-South, Pac 12 schools?

Lorenzo Jackson remembers that 10-foot pole, remembers it like yesterday.

At the tender age of three, Jackson’s grandson, Dalvin Jamal-Milton — a rather active, energetic kid — was seen somehow climbing atop that rather long, medal pole during what ultimately turned into a holiday worth remembering for his beloved paw paw.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' --- A flourishing, crafty football player Jamal-Milton has become, one, who, with another masterful display in this, his final season at Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California --- in the outskirts of Sacramento --- could very well find himself playing on Saturdays around this time next year.  A stocky, speedy, 5-foot-8 running back who has evolved as an integral force for the Marauders’ potent rushing attack in recent years, Jamal-Milton has been nothing short of impressive, although he admittedly brings into the 2015 season higher expectations. (Photos submitted by A. Jamal)

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ — A flourishing, crafty football player Jamal-Milton has become, one, who, with another masterful display in this, his final season at Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California — in the outskirts of Sacramento — could very well find himself playing on Saturdays around this time next year.
A stocky, speedy, 5-foot-8 running back who has evolved as an integral force for the Marauders’ potent rushing attack in recent years, Jamal-Milton has been nothing short of impressive, although he admittedly brings into the 2015 season higher expectations. (Photos submitted by A. Jamal)

“When he was three years old, Dalvin climbed up a 10-foot pole, using pure arm and stomach strength just to reach an Easter egg,” Jackson told sports journalist Andre Johnson. I knew from that point on he would be an elite football player.”

A flourishing, crafty football player Jamal-Milton has become, one, who, with another masterful display in this, his final season at Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California — in the outskirts of Sacramento — could very well find himself playing on Saturdays around this time next year.

A stocky, speedy, 5-foot-8 running back who has evolved as an integral force for the Marauders’ potent rushing attack in recent years, Jamal-Milton has been nothing short of impressive, although he admittedly brings into the 2015 season higher expectations.

Never mind the assortment of accolades he’s garnered in recent years, honors such as: the Shrine Bowl Most Valuable Player in  2011 while playing for the Rosemont Jr. Wolverines; Offensive MVP in 2012 while a member of Jesuit High’s freshman team; MVP 2012 of Jesuit’s freshman rugby squad in 2012; and Offensive MVP of Jesuit’s junior varsity team in 2013.

A TRUE TALENT --- Jamal-Milton was named the Shrine Bowl Most Valuable Player in  2011 while playing for the Rosemont Jr. Wolverines; Offensive MVP in 2012 while a member of Jesuit High’s freshman team; MVP 2012 of Jesuit’s freshman rugby squad in 2012; and Offensive MVP of Jesuit’s junior varsity team in 2013.

A TRUE TALENT — Jamal-Milton was named the Shrine Bowl Most Valuable Player in 2011 while playing for the Rosemont Jr. Wolverines; Offensive MVP in 2012 while a member of Jesuit High’s freshman team; MVP 2012 of Jesuit’s freshman rugby squad in 2012; and Offensive MVP of Jesuit’s junior varsity team in 2013.

To his credit, this thriving multisport athlete had shown flashes of resiliency during what was an efficient junior campaign.

In being installed in his first full season on the varsity squad, Jamal-Milton essentially showed no signs of rust, having ended the season with 424 rushing yards and five rushing scorers. To his credit, he managed to help propel the Marauders on effective drives, considering he averaged 5.7 yards per carry.

He was just as remarkable as a member of the school’s rugby team, given he managed to start in 10 outings.

MR. ALL-AROUND --- He was just as remarkable as a member of the school’s rugby team, given he managed to start in 10 outings.

MR. ALL-AROUND — Jamal-Milton was just as remarkable as a member of the school’s rugby team, given he managed to start in 10 outings last year.

Still, looking ahead, many who have followed Jamal-Milton’s rise and development as a football standout — he runs an average of 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash and bench presses approximately 225 pounds — believe he possesses the tools and skills to play football at the collegiate level, although he has yet to field any official scholarships offers.

But what does Jamal-Milton thinks about all this?

“I’ve always imagined college football as being a utopia for players who truly love the game of football,” Jamal-Milton said. “I have yet to be on a team where I could walk on the field, knowing that all of my teammates share the same passion for football as I do. This dream of mine could not get any better.”

CHECK OUT JAMAL-MILTON IN ACTION: http://www.maxpreps.com/athlete/dalvin-jamal-milton/Hlph8hysEeS00gAmVebEWg/videos.htm?videoid=46d0b324-edd6-40fe-80ae-b627453afd69

What so astounding about his athletic progress over the years, Jamal-Milton said, is that he had grown accustomed to silencing naysayers and critics — or those who sensed that as an undersized athlete, he didn’t have what it takes to compete at a high level.

Uh oh.

Somebody told them wrong.

HE SAID IT --- “I’ve always imagined college football as being a utopia for players who truly love the game of football,” Jamal-Milton said. “I have yet to be on a team where I could walk on the field, knowing that all of my teammates share the same passion for football as I do. This dream of mine could not get any better.”

HE SAID IT — “I’ve always imagined college football as being a utopia for players who truly love the game of football,” Jamal-Milton said. “I have yet to be on a team where I could walk on the field, knowing that all of my teammates share the same passion for football as I do. This dream of mine could not get any better.”

“Since the day I first set foot on the field with my helmet and shoulder pads in hand, I’ve always been looked at as a lesser child,” Jamal-Milton explained. “As a result of being looked at this way, I was moved to play on the (offensive) line. I played line until my sixth grade year. I remember my uncle, Rashad Jamal, walking into my room and asking me if I’m ready to work. I replied saying, ‘Yes, but for what?’ He replied to me, saying, ‘For your opportunity.’

“From that day on, I worked every day to cut weight in order to be eligible as a running back,” Jamal-Milton continued. “When the day came for weigh-ins, I made weight and ran the ball for the first time like I never thought I could. Every day I wake up, I remember the work and pain I had to go through that led to the life I live today. I often realize that with hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, great things can be accomplished without a doubt.”

A trend that, to his credit, has taken place time and again since he his grandfather, his self-proclaimed “No. 1 fan,” caught his climbing that 10-foot pole at the tender age of three.

For Jamal-Milton, the biggest question now is at what point college scouts will acknowledge his assertiveness and immense skills.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

AndreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

Memphis Manassas’ Joslynn Basemore: ‘I am the best player in the Shelby-Metro area’

BaseMainJoslynn Basemore on Thursday was asked if she’s getting the respect she deserves as a Memphis-area high school basketball player.

She didn’t hold back.

“The respect I’m getting, I deserve it,” Basemore, a rising senior standout for Manassas High, told sports journalist Andre Johnson. “I will say I am respected, but can be taken for granted or overlooked because of where I attend school.”

Shortly, thereafter, Basemore wasted little time being forthright about where she ranks amongst Shelby-Metro’s finest prep girls basketball players.

“I truly believe I am the best player in the Shelby-Metro area,” Basemore said with a straight face. “My outlook on my final prep season is that it will be a success, because I will work even harder to make sure that my team and I am not overlooked because of our location. This season is the beginning of my new life.”

STOCK RISING --- According to many who have followed Basemore’s rise as arguably one of the best basketball players in the history of Manassas High, she has every right to embark upon the 2015-16 season harboring some newfound swagger.  For starters, Basemore has yet to field official scholarship offers from any colleges, although she has garnered letters of interest from a few Division 1 mid-major schools, most notably Georgia State and Austin Peay State. (Photos submitted by D. Peterson)

STOCK RISING — According to many who have followed Basemore’s rise as arguably one of the best basketball players in the history of Manassas High, she has every right to embark upon the 2015-16 season harboring some newfound swagger.
For starters, Basemore has yet to field official scholarship offers from any colleges, although she has garnered letters of interest from a few Division 1 mid-major schools, most notably Georgia State and Austin Peay State. (Photos submitted by D. Peterson)

TRUE TALENT --- Basemore also was the Lady Tigers’ top scorer as a sophomore, averaging 20.4 points, including eight 20-plus point games in 25 starts.  “She started playing basketball when she was in the second grade,” said Basemore’s mother, Michelle Basemore. “I thought about basketball being a way for her to go to college paid for in conjunction to her getting a scholarship based on her GPA, which has always been a 4.0 or higher. Basketball, to me, was the way out, especially with me being a single mother and doing it all on my own.”

TRUE TALENT — Basemore also was the Lady Tigers’ top scorer as a sophomore, averaging 20.4 points, including eight 20-plus point games in 25 starts.
“She started playing basketball when she was in the second grade,” said Basemore’s mother, Michelle Basemore. “I thought about basketball being a way for her to go to college paid for in conjunction to her getting a scholarship based on her GPA, which has always been a 4.0 or higher. Basketball, to me, was the way out, especially with me being a single mother and doing it all on my own.”

Some pretty dauntless words from a player who, although her school is based in the inner city — in the heart of North Memphis to be exact — appears destined to head into this, her final prep season, with a chip on her shoulder.

According to many who have followed Basemore’s rise as arguably one of the best basketball players in the history of Manassas High, she has every right to embark upon the 2015-16 season harboring some newfound swagger.

For starters, Basemore has yet to field official scholarship offers from any colleges, although she has garnered letters of interest from a few Division 1 mid-major schools, most notably Georgia State and Austin Peay State.

Add to the fact that this speedy, 5-foot-4 standout has built a reputation as one of the most prolific scorers on the local high school hoops circuit in recent years, and it’s no wonder she’s clinging to lofty expectations of picking up where she left off last year.

That, after all, is what appears to be so scary for opposing players who will have the brutal task of squaring off against Basemore in what she deems as a “life-changing” season, of sorts, this year.

“I personally feel as if I don’t have a quitting spirit when things become a little complicated,” explains Basemore, when asked what is it she’d like college scouts and recruiters to know about her. “Most importantly, I am coachable, hard-working, dedicated, and a team player who puts God first. Through Him, Who strengthens me, I can do all things no matter what the task may be.”

Base3Last year, Basemore — though she often faced a size disadvantage against the opposition — was relied upon heavily to score early and often for a Manassas team that finished with a 14-10 mark.

Having averaged a team-best 22.5 points per game, Basemore made a strong case that she has the smarts and skills to play at the collegiate  level, especially in what turned out to be the Lady Tigers’ final game of the season.

In a 90-84 overtime loss to neighborhood rival Trezevant, Basemore caught fire and drew rave reviews from a standing-room-only crowd when she scored a career-high 46 points, a feat that surpassed her 43-point outburst against Craigmont days prior.

In addition, Basemore led the team in other statistical categories as a junior, including assists (4.7), rebounds (5.3), and steals (4.7) — a solid resume for a player who boasts high expectations of putting her immense skills on display in a college uniform sometime next year.

Basemore also was the Lady Tigers’ top scorer as a sophomore, averaging 20.4 points, including eight 20-plus point games in 25 starts.

“She started playing basketball when she was in the second grade,” said Basemore’s mother, Michelle Basemore. “I thought about basketball being a way for her to go to college paid for in conjunction to her getting a scholarship based on her GPA, which has always been a 4.0 or higher. Basketball, to me, was the way out, especially with me being a single mother and doing it all on my own.”

STAR WATCH --- Basemore led the team in other statistical categories as a junior, including assists (4.7), rebounds (5.3), and steals (4.7) --- a solid resume for a player who boasts high expectations of putting her immense skills on display in college uniform sometime next year.

STAR WATCH — Basemore led the team in other statistical categories as a junior, including assists (4.7), rebounds (5.3), and steals (4.7) — a solid resume for a player who boasts high expectations of putting her immense skills on display in college uniform sometime next year.

Besides emerging as Manassas’ featured player, Joslynn Basemore  — who’s also gotten strong support from her father, Daren Peterson — has been a fixture on the AAU circuit in recent years, most notably for the Tennessee Glory. Fortunately for her, she has been afforded to play the games she loves in a number of establishments around the country, including Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri, among others.

As she prepares for what figures to be a banner season, Joslynn Basemore said her primary objective is to add to what has shaped up to be solid resume on and off the court.

Especially on the court.

“Basketball is something that I can’t really explain, but what I can say is that I have a sincere passion for the game,” Joslynn Basemore said. Plus, I look at basketball as another way of learning life experiences. My ultimate dream is to pursue a career in basketball, one day playing for the WNBA.”

Some pretty bold words from a player, one who’s finally getting the respect she deserves.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

AndreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

California prep footballer Elijah Orr getting looks from Mid-South, West Coast colleges

LISTEN UP --- A player who has gone to great lengths to build a solid resume since being cut from his youth football team more than a decade ago, Elijah Orr has a direct message for schools who are currently eyeing him. “I'm a team first oriented player and I play to win,” Elijah Orr said. “I can be relied upon and feel that I can be an impact player at multiple positions. I give 110 percent every day.

LISTEN UP — A player who has gone to great lengths to build a solid resume since being cut from his youth football team more than a decade ago, Elijah Orr has a direct message for schools who are currently eyeing him.
“I’m a team first oriented player and I play to win,” Elijah Orr said. “I can be relied upon and feel that I can be an impact player at multiple positions. I give 110 percent every day.

For Elijah Orr, it wasn’t merely a moment of failure.

Rather, it was a moment that, to his credit, inspired him to overcome the toughest of life’s hurdles.

At just six years age, Orr’s mother, Tia Orr, allowed him to try out for a Sacramento-area recreational football team.

However, an unfortunate development transpired days before the youngster was looking to suit up for his first competitive outing.

On the final day of tryouts, Elijah was cut by the coaches, something about which gave way to a sense of disappointment for his mother, who recalls like yesterday how it all unfolded.

He was devastated and, of course, I was too,” Tia Orr told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “Elijah realized through that tough experience however he was going to have to work really hard to get recognition. At only 6-7 years old he would go outside and practice for hours on his own with out even being asked. I remember watching him over the years going out with his dad learning the mechanics of football and boy did it all his hard work pay off. He is now one of the best defensive players in the game.”

As Tia Orr explains, her son had spent countless hours working individually with his father, learning a variety of mechanics from blocking and tackling.

The rest, as they say, is history.

PROVEN LEADER --- Orr's breakthrough season undoubtedly occurred last year when the 6-foot, 180-pound defensive specialist was as good as advertised for a Grant’s national standout squad that took a 14-0 record into last year state championship game before falling big to Folsom.

PROVEN LEADER — Orr’s breakthrough season undoubtedly occurred last year when the 6-foot, 180-pound defensive specialist was as good as advertised for a Grant’s national standout squad that took a 14-0 record into last year state championship game before falling big to Folsom.

MORE ON ELIJAH ORR: http://www.sacbee.com/sports/high-school/article2925762.html

Not only did Elijah Orr become a marquee player the following year for the very team from which he was cut, but today, the 17-year-old is making his presence felt at the high school ranks.

Orr13An All-Section (district) strong safety for Grant High in Sacramento, California, Elijah Orr has been nothing short of impressive, a far cry from a kid who, a little more than a decade ago, was seen with his head buried in the palm of his hands — all because at the age of six, he was force to learn the hard way of just how commendable it is to clear hurdles and conquer arguably the toughest of obstacles.

To his credit, Elijah Orr had masterfully defied the odds, ultimately blossoming into one of California’s finest prep players for the Class of 2016.

His breakthrough season undoubtedly occurred last year when the 6-foot, 180-pound defensive specialist was as good as advertised for a Grant’s national standout squad that took a 14-0 record into last year state semifinal game falling big to Folsom.

MORE ELIJAH ORR FOOTAGE: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2018415/highlights/220112386/v2

OrrtackleIn helping the Pacers to an undefeated regular season, a Delta League crown, and an impressive postseason run, Elijah Orr started every game and was among the team’s best defenders, registering near 10 tackles per game.

Add to the fact that Elijah Orr runs an average of 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash, bench presses somewhere around 250 pounds, and squats at 425, and it’s no wonder a number of colleges have taken into account that this kid undoubtedly possesses the skills and maturity to play at the next level.

MORE ON ELIJAH ORR: http://www.sacbee.com/sports/high-school/joe-davidson/article32275617.html

Elijah Orr, who has qualified academically, said he has garnered “countless letters” from a number of colleges, most notably from the University of Wyoming, the University of Nevada, the University Cal-Poly, Colorado State, and a host of Mid-South-area schools.

While he has yet to receive any official offers, many associated with Grant’s tradition-rich program believe Elijah Orr’s recruiting process will become more favorable in the coming weeks.

Among the reasons is that Elijah Orr was selected play in the annual Blue Grey All-American Game at season’s end. Also, he was chosen to play in the National All-American Game in Dallas’ AT&T Stadium in late December, an event that will feature a number of the elite players for the Class of 2016.

And, just recently, Elijah Orr was selected to participate in an Elite Camp in Los Angeles and was selected as the camps MVP.

STOCK RISING --- Elijah Orr, who has qualified academically, said he has garnered “countless letters” from a number of colleges, most notably from the University of Wyoming, the University of Nevada, the University Cal-Poly, Colorado State, and a host of Mid-South-area schools. While he has yet to receive any official offers, many associated with Grant’s tradition-rich program believe Elijah Orr’s recruiting process will become more favorable in the coming weeks.

STOCK RISING — Elijah Orr, who has qualified academically, said he has garnered “countless letters” from a number of colleges, most notably from the University of Wyoming, the University of Nevada, the University Cal-Poly, Colorado State, and a host of Mid-South-area schools.
While he has yet to receive any official offers, many associated with Grant’s tradition-rich program believe Elijah Orr’s recruiting process will become more favorable in the coming weeks.

ELIJAH ORR’S SCOUTING REPORT/FOOTAGE: https://athletesforcollege.com/athletes/show/id/3412

A player who has gone to great lengths to build a solid resume since being cut from his youth football team more than a decade ago, Elijah Orr has a direct message for schools who are currently eyeing him.

“I’m a team first oriented player and I play to win,” Elijah Orr said. “I can be relied upon and feel that I can be an impact player at multiple positions. I give 110 percent every day. I have more heart than anyone on the field. I’m all about winning and perfection. Winning comes before personal satisfactions.

“I will do whatever it takes for my team to win ball games,” Elijah Orr continued. “I am a high energy player and am considered a leader among my peers. I love the excitement of the game and love contact.”

So much for being cut at the tender age of six.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

AndreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

 

California prep footballer Elijah Orr getting looks from Mid-South, West Coast colleges

For Elijah Orr, it wasn’t merely a moment of failure.

Rather, it was a moment that, to his credit, inspired him to overcome the toughest of life’s hurdles.

LISTEN UP --- A player who has gone to great lengths to build a solid resume since being cut from his youth football team more than a decade ago, Elijah Orr has a direct message for schools who are currently eyeing him. “I'm a team first oriented player and I play to win,” Elijah Orr said. “I can be relied upon and feel that I can be an impact player at multiple positions. I give 110 percent every day.

LISTEN UP — A player who has gone to great lengths to build a solid resume since being cut from his youth football team more than a decade ago, Elijah Orr has a direct message for schools who are currently eyeing him.
“I’m a team first oriented player and I play to win,” Elijah Orr said. “I can be relied upon and feel that I can be an impact player at multiple positions. I give 110 percent every day.

At just six years age, Orr’s mother, Tia Orr, allowed him to try out for a Sacramento-area recreational football team.

However, an unfortunate development transpired days before the youngster was looking to suit up for his first competitive outing.

On the final day of tryouts, Elijah was cut by the coaches, something about which gave way to a sense of disappointment for his mother, who recalls like yesterday how it all unfolded.

He was devastated and, of course, I was too,” Tia Orr told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “Elijah realized through that experience however that he was going to have to work really hard to get recognition. At only 6-7 years old he would go outside and practice for hours on his own with out even being asked. I remember watching him over the years going out with his dad learning the mechanics of football and boy did it all his hard work pay off. He is now one of the best defensive players in the game.”

PROVEN LEADER --- Orr's breakthrough season undoubtedly occurred last year when the 6-foot, 180-pound defensive specialist was as good as advertised for a Grant’s national standout squad that took a 14-0 record into last year state championship game before falling big to Folsom.

PROVEN LEADER — Orr’s breakthrough season undoubtedly occurred last year when the 6-foot, 180-pound defensive specialist was as good as advertised for a Grant’s national standout squad that took a 14-0 record into last year state championship game before falling big to Folsom.

As Tia Orr explains, her son had spent countless hours working individually with his father, learning a variety of mechanics from blocking and tackling.

The rest, as they say, is history.

MORE ON ELIJAH ORR: http://www.sacbee.com/sports/high-school/article2925762.html

Not only did Elijah Orr become a marquee player the following year for the very team from which he was cut, but today, the 17-year-old is making his presence felt at the high school ranks.

An All-Section (district) strong safety for Grant High in Sacramento, California, Elijah Orr has been nothing short of impressive, a far cry from a kid who, a little more than a decade ago, was seen with his head buried in the palm of his hands — all because at the age of six, he was force to learn the hard way of just how commendable it is to clear hurdles and conquer arguably the toughest of obstacles.

Orr13To his credit, Elijah Orr had masterfully defied the odds, ultimately blossoming into one of California’s finest prep players for the Class of 2016.

His breakthrough season undoubtedly occurred last year when the 6-foot, 180-pound defensive specialist was as good as advertised for a Grant’s national standout squad that took a 14-0 record into last year state semifinal game falling big to Folsom.

OrrtackleIn helping the Pacers to an undefeated regular season, a Delta League crown, and an impressive postseason run, Elijah Orr started every game and was among the team’s best defenders, registering near 10 tackles per game.

Add to the fact that Elijah Orr runs an average of 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash, bench presses somewhere around 250 pounds, and squats at 425, and it’s no wonder a number of colleges have taken into account that this kid undoubtedly possesses the skills and maturity to play at the next level.

MORE ON ELIJAH ORR: http://www.sacbee.com/sports/high-school/joe-davidson/article32275617.html

Elijah Orr, who has qualified academically, said he has garnered “countless letters” from a number of colleges, most notably from the University of Wyoming, the University of Nevada, the University Cal-Poly, Colorado State, and a host of Mid-South-area schools.

While he has yet to receive any official offers, many associated with Grant’s tradition-rich program believe Elijah Orr’s recruiting process will become more favorable in the coming weeks.

Among the reasons is that Elijah Orr was selected play in the annual Blue Grey All-American Game at season’s end. Also, he was chosen to play in the National All-American Game in Dallas’ AT&T Stadium in late December, an event that will feature a number of the elite players for the Class of 2016.

STOCK RISING --- Elijah Orr, who has qualified academically, said he has garnered “countless letters” from a number of colleges, most notably from the University of Wyoming, the University of Nevada, the University Cal-Poly, Colorado State, and a host of Mid-South-area schools. While he has yet to receive any official offers, many associated with Grant’s tradition-rich program believe Elijah Orr’s recruiting process will become more favorable in the coming weeks.

STOCK RISING — Elijah Orr, who has qualified academically, said he has garnered “countless letters” from a number of colleges, most notably from the University of Wyoming, the University of Nevada, the University Cal-Poly, Colorado State, and a host of Mid-South-area schools.
While he has yet to receive any official offers, many associated with Grant’s tradition-rich program believe Elijah Orr’s recruiting process will become more favorable in the coming weeks.

And, just recently, Elijah Orr was selected to participate in an Elite MVP Camp MVP in Los Angeles.

ELIJAH ORR’S SCOUTING REPORT/FOOTAGE: https://athletesforcollege.com/athletes/show/id/3412

A player who has gone to great lengths to build a solid resume since being cut from his youth football team more than a decade ago, Elijah Orr has a direct message for schools who are currently eyeing him.

“I’m a team first oriented player and I play to win,” Elijah Orr said. “I can be relied upon and feel that I can be an impact player at multiple positions. I give 110 percent every day. I have more heart than anyone on the field. I’m all about winning and perfection. Winning comes before personal satisfactions.

“I will do whatever it takes for my team to win ball games,” Elijah Orr continued. “I am a high energy player and am considered a leader among my peers. I love the excitement of the game and love contact.”

So much for being cut at the tender age of six.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

AndreAndre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to andre@memphisport.net. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.