Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tracey Displays New Tools In Florida Shootout

A variety of people have played a significant role in shaping the driven mindset of Fort Myers' Jacob Tracey.

The well-built 6-foot-4 guard, buoyed by natural scoring ability, is now at Southwest Florida Christian HS.

 He's become a more evolved threat, as a quicker release from 20 feet and beyond and more reliance on his shooting would indicate.

 And, while a number of people have nurtured his progression, Tracey now describes his support system as tight-knit.

"My older brother Jared, Coach Catto, Coach Chris, Caleb (Catto), my younger brother, they are pretty much my people. My inner circle is small, those are the guys around me the most. Those are the guys I trust."

Trust is a critical quality for Tracey, who enters his third high school in as many years.

As a third team all-state guard at Riverside as a sophomore, Tracey averaged 18 points, six assists, and five boards.

The junior now forms a vaunted 1-2 punch with a veritable knockdown specialist in Caleb Catto.

Both players put their skill-set on display before a handful of scouts and coaches at the annual Dodge Florida Shootout at Eckerd College on Saturday.

"When Caleb (Catto) gets hot, he's just a game-changer," said Tracey of his teammate.

"He's not one of those one-dimensional threats either. He could put the ball on the floor, he can make plays and score. Getting to states, obviously, that's our biggest goal. Right now were trying to get our identity."

It didn't take Tracey, once a Division -1 prospect in football at Wide Receiver, long to register his identity yesterday.

At an athletic 205 pounds, the junior showed an adeptness in getting to the rim and fending off augmented defensive pressure with ball handling and playmaking.

While a tad wild at times, he showed a propensity for getting himself into difficult situations and quickly getting himself out of them. It's a trait few players at this level possess.

"He's just a scorer, a guy who can get off the busy ready to put up points," said one scout in attendance.

"He's got a mature body for this age level so it makes it easier for him to get to the rim. He is pretty fearless."

Catto, also a built guard who can play off the ball or orchestrate the offensive flow, has an offer from North Florida.

Also a football player, Catto brings size and ability to stretch out defenses with considerable range.

Catto's 16.5 points, seven assists, and six boards per game were instrumental in spearheading Southwest Florida Christian to a 25-4 campaign last season.

Tracey has interest from Florida International, Florida Gulf Coast University, UCF, and most recently Butler.

While Jacob Tracey didn't always have the best people around him the past two years (he cited two incidents where he was almost guilty by association in school) , Tracey said the presence of his new coaches and most notably his older brother have kept him distractions-free.

"Jared just tells me surround myself with positive people and be a leader," Tracey said.

 "He tells me to make the most out of life and make it out of Fort Myers'."

While he has guidance and life principles instilled in him from his older brother, he has a promising teammate in younger brother Bam Tracey.

Bam Tracey has worked at tuning up all facets of his game. He's also trained with the legendary Teddy Dupay, the former Florida guard and deft long range shooting clinician.

"Training with Teddy is basically a pro workout," Bam Tracey said. "He makes sure I'm doing everything as hard as I can and correctly."

Now the young tandem hope to leave their mark with a tight entourage that will stick together through turbulence and glory.