Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Uno En Uno With: Joel Ntambwe, Class of 2018 recruit

ZS: Tell me about your “little” brother. How do you describe quick development of this young man? How has he come along, basketball-wise, and what do you attribute his recent success to?

JN: Man, he’s about 6-foot-8. He’s the same height as me. He’s one of the top players in his class right now for sure. He is very hungry and you see it by the way he prioritizes the game and always wants to be in the gym and play against the best.

He’s 6-8, at Mountain Mission (Va.). He just grew out of nowhere. His name is Jonathan Kominga. He always had the skill and the talent and the love for the game.
 The growth spurt has really helped him flourish as one of the best players in the class of 2021. It’s really allowed his game to blossom as he becomes one of the best young players in the country, which is his aspiration as a player. I’d love to be on the same court with him, whether on his team or against him because we would both want to put on a show and it would be special since we are family.

ZS: Which program(s) have been the latest to touch base with you and which schools are actively pursuing you as of right now?

JN: To be honest I haven’t talked to anybody lately, I didn’t want to jinx myself and start talking and talking. You have to let your game do the talking sometimes and let all the other things fall into place. Like they say with the American expression, ‘talk is cheap.’ On the floor and with your game is where you should talk the most. And talk the loudest, really.  

I’ve just been working out and getting ready for July. I’d like to let my game speak from there. I don’t know who I’m going to play with for the AAU circuit, I just don’t which team I’m going to play for. Right now I’m just going to wait until July gets here and from there I’m going to figure out which team I’m going to play with.

ZS: Which offers do you have currently? When do you envision chopping down the list and narrowing it down to a top-5 or a final four?

JN: Providence, Florida State, Arkansas, Wichita State, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Duquesne, Tulsa, and most recently St. John’s inquired about me through my mentor Dave (Caputo). I would love for opportunity to work out for them and play in New York, because of how serious basketball is to them.

So, there is a good list and hopefully I can pick up even more offers this July on the AAU circuit. I’m putting in all the preparation I need for this and looking to make the most of it. It’s going to be my last time playing basketball in the summer on AAU, so I might as well have fun and take advantage of the scene. It's a blessing.

ZS: You’ve been saying all along you’d like to become a four or a five star guy and make an immediate impact in college. Which tweaks to your game would you need to make in order for everything to go as planned?

JN: Right now, I’m just working on getting better at every little thing. There is no one area of my game I focus on too much or put a bunch of time into.
I think by becoming good and serviceable in every category, I’m increasing my chances of being an instant impact guy. I’m increasing my chances by working on becoming a better defender.
Right now, I believe I can play defense on anybody and I can guard the one through the four. I’m also looking to get stronger, become more of a shot-blocker, and just continue to be a game-changer.
I don’t want to go into college and sit the bench my first year. Like I said before, that’s just not in the plans. The goal is to find the right place where I can impact them right away and eventually find myself as a program changer. Then, when it is all said and done, I’ll have achieved my dream if I can shake the comissioner’s hand on a big stage in late June at the NBA draft. That’s what were working for.”