"It's All About The Game"
DCA gets it in early
Ron Bailey, Publisher
There is no sleeping in for these DCA players.
June 26, 2012 - Normally mid-June mornings are relatively serene in the D.C. area, as nine-to-fivers are already at work, many stores are just opening, and high school aged kids are either in the bed or awakening from a slumber. The heat of this region further depresses activity.
Members of DC Assault’s 15, 16 and 17-under travel teams didn’t get the memo apparently – they convened at a school in Prince George’s County at 10a, Monday. This was no chalk talk, the players and coaches, led by 17-under head coach Eddie Jordan, the former NBA bench leader, were there to put in work. Over two hours of it.
DCA’s Director of Basketball Operations Damon Handon, borrowing from a military recruitment advertisement, may have said it best: “We do more before 12 o’clock than most people do all day”.
Eddie Jordan, here demonstrating a drill, runs an efficient practice, one where he is personally involved.
He’s not exaggerating, as the participating players first performed passing drills, then incorporated shooting work into the schedule. From then, they worked on various pick and roll schemes – both offense and defense, with Jordan teaching when to go through or under picks on defense, and how to set up your man offensively. Finally the group employed their lessons in full court work.
All of this occurred in a gym bereft of air conditioning.
Why was the work occurring, when the organization’s high school aged teams are taking a break until July’s open recruiting period, thereby facilitating players’ competing with their high school squads? DCA, according to Handon, designs to show well during July, and in the process secure it’s young people college scholarships.
While there, several things were learned:
Massanhutten Military Academy (VA) will be stocked with a trio of DCA players this year – rising seniors Ahmed Fields, Rashard Kelly, and post grad player Damonte Dodd. Kelly and Fields were present at the workout.
Fields a 6’5” swingman capable of slashing, strapping up and hitting open shots, indicated “Washington, Towson and James Madison” have offered scholarships, while St. Joes and USC have expressed interest. So has Harvard – he had over a 3.0 GPA at Blue Ridge (VA) last year – though that Ivy League institution only offers need based aid.
Kelly, an athletic forward standing 6’7” who attacks the rim, defends and rebounds, attended Bishop O’Connell (VA). Still sweating from his workout, Kelly shared “Mt. St. Mary’s, George Mason, Winthrop” are near the top of his college list. Delaware, Richmond and Northeastern are also in pursuit of him.
Ahmad Fields, during a slide drill.
Dodd, a recent graduate of Queen Anne’s County High School (MD) was not in the house. He’s a 6’10” developmental big man with copious shot blocking and athletic skills, that committed to Maryland this winter.
Present O’Connell standout Romello Trimble also put in work. This writer’s choice for best DMV (District-Maryland-Virginia) shooter for his ability to tickle the twine from deep or midrange - via spot ups, runners and stop and pops - Trimble stands around 6’3” and has worked hard on his ball patting ability. He indicated his school list “is getting better” as “Maryland, Notre Dame, Rutgers, UNLV, Nebraska, Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia” and to a slightly lesser extent Georgetown have been on him.
Miami, Rutgers, Notre Dame and Xavier have offered Trimble, with the latter doing so last week. UNLV tendered a schollie also.
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