Monday, September 28, 2015

Confident As Ever, Ohams Expands Game and Mindset

For Chuba Ohams, a quick growth spurt has produced a sudden basketball metamorphosis.

Ohams sprouted up to 6-foot-7, sustaining his guard skill-set and tuning up new layers of his all-around game.

The most notable change for the Bronx native, however, has occurred smack in the between the ears.

 Unveiling a new mental moxie, Ohams has displayed a high-wired and relentless level of competitiveness.

"The added height comes with more confidence," said Ohams, one of the most heavily coveted Division-I New York City products on this side of Word of God's Rawle Alkins.

"It helps me feel like I'm the best player on the court every time I come out there and play. I've been more efficient going to the basket. My jump shot has gotten much more consistent. With the height and the confidence, I've just been able to contribute to all areas of the game."

His rapid evolution has not taken place without quick notice.

Georgia Tech, UConn, and Boston College have recently expressed interest in Ohams.

These high-major programs have joined UMass, Rhode Island, Providence, Rutgers, DePaul, and a buffet-list of others.

There is currently no visible frontrunner in Ohams' recruitment.

If his game continues to blossom at Putnam Science (CT), where he's bordered by UConn-commit Mamadou Diarra, Ohams expects an uptick in interest and offers. Everyone is moving at the same pace.

Ohams did say he enjoyed a recent conversation with Georgia Tech assistant coach Tom Herrion.

"In my opinion, nobody has really been consistent," said Ohams' advisor and NYC  hoops pioneer Nathan Blue, who has a fair share of advocates and adversaries throughout the city.

"They all know he's not making a decision until late in the April signing period. I don't feel anybody is putting 100 percent effort into him, which is a great thing. You get to see who really wants you."

They'll really want him as a wing/forward who can spread out teams on the perimeter at the next level.

More aggressive on the glass and capable of guarding positions from the 1-4, Ohams is also a threat from beyond the arc.

 He's put extra emphasis on creating his shot off the dribble, finding seams and attacking the rim through draping hands and traffic.

Increasing his basketball IQ and performing in games of higher magnitude (against other highly-touted recruits) will ready him for the rigors of the next level.

It's one of the reasons he jettisoned Wadleigh for Putnam Science.  Huskies boss Kevin Ollie, UConn assistant Glen Miller, and myriad others are frequent guests.

"Throughout the entire Hoop Group Elite sessions, (Ohams) showed me and everyone else that it was all coming together mentally," Blue said.

"Chuba was playing more aggressive and he was just as hungry every day for two weeks. His growth is tremendous on and off the court and he will be playing in the NBA for a very long time if he holds to form."

Blue, who has groomed local area talent such as Mo Harkless, envisions Ohams as a Shawne Williams type at the next level. Williams, who starred at Memphis under John Calipari, revitalized his NBA career with the 2010-11, Amar'e Stoudemire-led Knicks.

Standing above guys who he recalls towering over him on the court has been a sudden change. Ohams said the transition has made the game easier, increasing his desire to leave his fingerprints in all statistical categories.

"At Putnam, my role is basically to play everything from the 1-4. I want to be a team player, score the basketball, and do everything I can do to win games. That means hit threes, get on the boards, push the ball, everything. I have a big task ahead of me."

Now standing 6-feet-7 and with new competitive juices coursing through Ohams' blood stream, it's a task he's well prepared for.