Prep Preview and Report
Grant High School--October 7, 1997
According to Coach Howie Levine, this could be a great year for Grant. While Grant will be a young team, they will also have some pretty good size and lots of quickness. Levine is hopeful that his players will show a bit more maturity this season than they did last when the team was wracked by disciplinary problems. He is also hopeful that the hard work which his players put in during the summer will pay off.
I caught up with Levine between classes today, so he only had a few moments to spare. This report is therefore somewhat abbreviated; we will update this with more info as time and observation permit. For now though, here's what we've got:
Gilbert Arenas (Jr. 6'-3" PG)-- Coach Levine thinks that Arenas has the potential to be one of the top prospects in California, a view which is shared by many, including the Pump Brothers, Dana and David, and Michael Miller of West Coast Hoops. Arenas played in September for the Pump N Run II team, and reportedly did quite well. A lot has been written about Gilbert this last summer, and he also impressed a lot of folks at the Pump Brothers West Coast All Star Camp in July. Levine described Gilbert as a very quick point guard who has the potential to run "any offense". Levine noted that this summer's experience can only help Gilbert to mature, and he noted that he still needs work, reminding me that "he's only in 11th grade." Actually, this is an important perspective for a coach to have, reminding us all that these are still just kids, even if some of them like McGrady or Kobe have jumped from high school right into the pros. Levine is the kind of old fashioned, "fundamentals" coach, who believes that while basketball can be a way to life-success for some, a kid should also get an education and mature through the education process as well, just in case his hoop dreams don't pan out.
Arenas is bigger than most PG's, and this will give him an advantage over some of the smaller points he may see during the season. Gilbert can put up the J to about 20' and last year, as a 10th grader, he averaged 22 points a game. Levine says that the school is getting letters about Gilbert "daily" and that as word of his ability spreads, the pressures on Gilbert will increase. Hopefully, Coach Levine can help Gilbert through these pressures and help him to mature.
Levine also told me that he expects a lot from his freshmen this year, including Michael Yildiz (6'-0" Fr. G), who has incredibly quick legs, although he is a streaky shooter. Yildiz had a great summer, and Levine hopes to see him take a leadership role this year.
Joining Yildiz and Arenas, will be Krishna Evans (6'-4", Fr. Fwd), who also had a good summer and who is expected to play lots of minutes. I've never seen him play, but Levine thinks he has real potential. Rounding out the top five is LaRon Harris, a 6'-3" Senior who plays the post.
Levine also had good things to say about Adir Levy (6-0", Jr.? G) who can play the 2 or 3 spot very capably. Levine hopes that this summer was a growing experience for Levy and that he will have matured a bit from last year where he struggled. Levy was on the Team LA Maccabi 15-16 Boy's team that took the Bronze in Seattle this last summer, and he did very well. He has great hands, good lateral quickness, and is a fine defensive player. Also look for Justin Buttikofer (6'-1" Jr. G) to make a contribution off the bench this year after moving up from JV. Justin has thinned and stretched out a bit, and while he may have seen his last big growth spurt for now, he uses his size effectively. He has good court vision and can shoot the J out to about 17'.
That's all that Levine had time for today. If I can get some more information, you'll see it here.
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