Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Devoe Earning A Variety Of Interest

Ask any kid who has ever laced up a pair of kicks and picked up a Spalding about his early basketball influences, he's likely to mention Lebron James somewhere along the way.

Perhaps the most transcendent player of our current era, James has survived the test of time as an iconic, game-changing talent.

Built like a brick junkhouse, James' multi-faceted arsenal enables him to crack open a game at any given moment.

He can spearhead the offense as a lethal, big-bodied guard and also provide interior manpower, snatching boards over 7-footers.

With wild and authoritative finishes, deft dishing from both hands, deadeye shooting from beyond the arc, James has long been considered a basketball deity.

He's a wunderkind, with kids across the planet emulating him.

For Michael Devoe, now a sophomore at Oak Ridge in Orlando, James Harden had a bit more appeal to him than Lebron.

"I liked watching guys like James Harden play, because he's a lefty and that's someone who I wanted to pattern my game around," Devoe said, following a recent fall league game against West Oaks.

"I tried to pick up on other lefties, like myself, and really focus on what they do. I just always values guys who could really score with the left hand."

As a sophomore, Devoe will assume some of the leadership mantle at Oak Ridge.

With natural playmaking instincts and a beyond-his-years handle, Devoe has been instrumental in orchestrating offense.

This season, he'll be entrusted to score at the rim, from mid-range, and beyond the arc.

 Programs across the country are beginning to take notice. The 6-foot-3 guard currently has budding interest from Miami, Xavier, Baylor, FIU, and UAB.

The true draw of Devoe is his ability to pick apart a defense. He possesses a sneaky basketball IQ, whipping up no-look passes, hitting cutters on the run and around traffic.

 Most recently, Devoe has displayed a mid-range game.

Extending his shot beyond the confines of the arc will help the crafty, hard-slashing guard evolve into a prolific scorer.

With coaches around the country tuning in, Devoe will look to take leadership matters into his own hands while also his scholarship-hungry competitive juices intact. Accepting the spotlight, the cerebral sophomore vows not to alter his unselfish ways.

While Harden and a bevy of gifted lefties have inspired Devoe, former Oak Ridge guard Antonio Blakenley has been instrumental in nurturing his development.

Blakenley, a high-volume scorer and explosive athlete at 6-foot-4, helped mold then-freshmen Devoe's mindset during his senior year.

 Now at LSU, Blakenley will look to make an instant impact as a high-adrenaline scoring guard.

At the same pace, Devoe will look to eclipse his former teammate's legacy at Oak Ridge.