Thursday, January 15, 2015

Uno En Uno With: Jamall Gregory, Elev8 Basketball

How prodigious is the vertical leap on Elev8's Jamall Gregory?

 The 6-foot-4, 180-pound high-riser finishes in ways only rarified athletes can even simulate at this level.

While clearing five teammates on an extravagant dunk and plucking a 3-point attempt at point blank range renders Gregory Youtube Sensation-eligible, his unbridled defensive energy and scoring acumen makes him appealing to Division-I coaches.

Maryland, VCU, and South Florida have expressed interest in Gregory, who emerged into a double-double threat at Coolidge (D.C.).

 At Elev8, Gregory finds himself flanked by more talent.

 Hunting for his shot less and creating off the dribble more, he's found his niche as an energizer and multi-layered weapon.

 Scoring via putbacks and providing the interior manpower as effectively as he infuses coach Cody Toppert's offense with freakish displays of athleticism, Gregory's killer instinct has grown since trekking to sun-splashed Delray Beach, Fla.

 Gregory attributes the unrivaled hops to constantly riding a bike alongside his little brother as a young kid, gaining the leg strength ahead of the game.

Now, Gregory's deceptive and unparalleled  athleticism allows him to convert turnovers into points at a furious pace.

His defensive aggression has become a stabilizing force guiding the 13-2 squad, which kicked off the season with a win over Oak Hill Academy.

The intensity and drive of skill development guru Ganon Baker, who has trained household NBA names such as Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Amare Stoudemire, has allowed Gregory's awareness to grow.

Under Toppert, a deep 3-point trigger man at Cornell in his heyday, Gregory has the freedom to attack with a variety.

 He no longer shoulders the burden of knifing through intensified pressure and double and triple teams. Gregory has been working diligently to develop a 15-18 foot jumper, along with a beyond-the-arc game.

Elev8 is slated to host tomorrow's Ballin At The Beach Showcase, which will include 41 Division-I players and traditional prep breeding houses across the South East Coast.

The event starts at 3:30 PM tomorrow, at the Village Academy on 400 SW 12th Ave in Delray Beach, Fla.

Gregory On His Role

At Elev8, I don't have to score on every possession. I can relax and do other things across the court. I have a bunch of different weapons that I can use. 

My teammates are reliable, they can knock down big shots. In Coach Cody's offense, I like to get to the basket. 

We like to press up, which allows us to get fast breaks. 

On His Teammates

We all get along, we have great chemistry on the court and off it. It's really a college environment, being on campus. 

On His Influences

I looked up to my brother, he played all the time and really got me into basketball. My uncle Dwayne, he played football, and I looked up to him as well.

 I played every sport as a young kid so I really looked up to those two for support.

 We played a lot of playground basketball at Upshur Recreation Center. It's in uptown, Northwest D.C, where I'm from. That's where it all really started for me.

 I've gotten better in the WATTS League, it's like a grown men's summer league. 

On Team Focus

Tomorrow in the Ballin' At The Beach tournament, we're just looking to come out and play hard from the jump and not let anyone get the jump on us.

 We've got to set the tone and play our tempo of basketball. If we do that, we should get a W each day.