Friday, September 21, 2012
One On One Feat. Jermaine "J Train" Samuels (CBC)
Jermaine "J Train" Samuels is one of the hottest names on the AAU circuit this summer. He even managed to capture the MVP trophy in the J.E.M. Classic 7th grade all-star game. Basketball Spotlight caught up with him to see what's on his mind heading into this season.
BS: This past year you have made quite a name for yourself in the New England area. What was it like to have your first Spotlight experience, then to earn MVP honors in the Class of 2017 JEM Classic?
JS: Basketball Spotlight was a great experience for me and my teammates. I think we did very well for it to be our first experience. Winning MVP was a confidence booster for my me. It let me know that I could play at a national level. It was great playing with guys with that much talent, everyone on the court was good.
BS: What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses?
JS: The best part of my game is attacking the basket. I finish very well around the rim. My weakness is on the ball defense. I know I have to get better at that if I want to be a high major prospect.
BS: Ok, so speaking of being a college prospect, what schools do you have on your "wish list"? JS: I love watching Kentucky! I would love to play for Coach Calipari one day. I also like UConn. But I would be grateful to have any team offer me a scholarship.
BS: What current NBA player is your favorite, or who do you pattern your game after?
JS: LeBron is the best player. But I think I'm a "Kevin Durant" type of player. I still have to shoot better if I'm truly gonna say I play like him. Coach Reggie thinks I play more like Carmelo.
BS: I know you left your former team. Rumor has it that you will be suiting up with Connecticut Basketball Club this season. How did that come about?
JS: I have a lot of respect for M-Plex because I learned a lot and they helped me to develop. But when we played CBC I liked their style of play, the brotherhood and family environment, and they had very good players at every position, especially at PG. Plus I really like playing for Coach Reggie Hatchett. He's a great motivator. I admired the type of relationship he had with his players even before I played with them.
BS: How will you be able to help a team with so many good players?
JS: I think I bring more size, athleticism, shot blocking and excitement. I give Jaecee [Martin] another target when he's driving and dishing.
BS: Speaking of Jaecee "Mayweather" Martin, how do you like playing with the reigning Basketball Spotlight "Player of the Year"?
JS: I love playing with Jaecee! I have been playing against him since we were both playing 10u. I've always liked the way he plays. he's a floor general, very unselfish. All you have to do is get up the court and get to the spot you want the ball at...he doesn't need any help getting the ball up the court. The game is much easier playing with a PG like him. I went to Nationals in Memphis this year and I don't think there's a better PG in the country in our age group.
BS: Ok. Finally, what are your expectations for your season this year?
JS: I would like to play well enough to be ranked among the other top players in 2017. But it's more important for my team to continue winning the same way they won last year. Hopefully I can bring them a new weapon that some teams haven't seen before. I want to go to National's and compete against the best of the best (like Cody Riley and the other CBC team). I'm just looking forward to having fun playing with my new brothers!