Friday, June 9, 2017

Unsung No More, There Is Nothing Little About OCP Star's Spring

Nas Little entered the 2016-17 campaign without a feature story in the mainstream media’s season previews.

Noted for his prodigious bounce, Little was not equated with the same high-expectations, hype, and high rankings as players he may have been more athletically gifted and plenty more efficient than.

Even the bigwigs of scouting and recruiting sites throughout the country seemed to have mistakenly looked past the 6-foot-7 forward at Orlando Christian Prep. 

Despite shooting 60 percent from the floor and 51 percent from beyond the arc while averaging 17.4 points (as a sophomore) the love was lacking.

As a junior, Little became one of the country's most high-percentage threats as 60 percent shooter and safe bet finisher. Still, he was yet to garner the publicity and star clout one would expect.

Though a menacing matchup for his versatility, Little’s unique blend of immeasurable intangibles and innate adeptness blocking shots and producing around the rim went underappreciated.
So what has Little been doing this spring, quickly shaping into one of the country’s most heavily sought after unsigned recruits in the Class of 2018?
He’s simply been proving that an engine of perseverance, a workload that just isn’t ingrained in most kids his age, and an ability to lead a team in any statistical category has catapulted him into the nation’s upper-crust.
Look no further than today, at the prestigious Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy today. Little wowed spectators with his above-the-rim game.
 The bounce was evident in one sequence, as Little flushed home a two hand windmill. The Orange Park, FL native followed this play up with an extravagant, off-the-glass dunk that teammate David Duke laid out for him. The feel for the game, the hops, and the high-motor elicited a response from SLAM writer Rodger Bohm, who described Little as “one of the best wings in ’18.”
Little turned in—surprise, surprise, an efficient account of himself. He finished with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, helping the United States to a thorough 79-54 thrashing of Slovenia.

Possessing a 7-foot-2 wingspan and having the strength to make a seamless transition to Division-I basketball at 210 pounds, Little averaged 17 points and seven boards for 1Family on the Adidas Gauntlet this spring.
Little has visited Florida a number of times. He’s also visited Florida State a whole handful of times. He’s enjoyed campus visits to UCF, Georgia Tech, Miami, and others.
Most recently, Little got a taste of the big city with a visit to St. John’s. The presence of legendary St. John’s sniper and NBA great Chris Mullin, who has had personal involvement with Little’s recruitment, has been a vital factor. Mullin's relationship with Little and his family has contributed to Little’s consideration of the program.
While some pinpoint St. John’s as a darkhorse in the suddenly ramped up Little Sweepstakes, several other high-profile programs are utilizing every recruiting tool in the box.

Those making a consistent push for the hard-finishing, 210-pound forward include Miami, Virginia Tech, N.C. State, Southern Cal, Georgia Tech and a bevy of others.
Many attribute Little’s rise in the ranks to his steady evolution as a veritable five-tool talent. Under the development of Daryl Hardin, a kid that was once in the shadows has witnessed his game rapidly explode.  
“We see coach Hardin as one of the best grassroots coaches in the country,” said 1Family’s Brad Augustine.
“His development with Nassir in the last few years is indicative of this. Nas has been pushed and he’s improved immensely and his game is still growing.”
Little, who whittled down to No.9 in small forwards in the class of 2018, will attend The Top 100 camp in Virginia from June 13-17.
“A versatile wing with an elite motor who can defend one through four,” is how Augustine describes 1Family’s class of 2018 Little.
“His ability to shoot the 3-pointer at such a high clip, combined with his elite athleticism make him a matchup nightmare. Add that to the fact that he’s got a 4.3 GPA and a high basketball IQ. Nassir is the high school version of Kawhi Leonard.”