Jovan Blacksher Picks Up 1st Offer of the Spring
The state of Arizona is no stranger to Jovan Blacksher Jr. I have a 13-year old son, Izaiah, who is entrenched in football. He lives and breathes it. He spends very little time in a basketball gym which somewhat boggles me. But hey, kids love what they love. However, there are about 5 names he knows in Arizona High School basketball and Jovan Blacksher Jr. is one of them. Never mind that he has never physically been to a Shadow Mountain high school game or ever seen him live and in person. But he has watched one of Blacksher's many clips of breaking high school defenses down and slicing them up like a potato on a cutting board.
There are many reasons to love Blacksher's game. May be it's the underdog story because of the fact that he stands under 6-foot but does things to defenses that shouldn't be physically possible. May be it's the way he brings it on the defensive end and how he rips ball-handlers like he lives in the back of a Brooklyn alley instead of on a basketball court. May be it's the fact that when he plays alongside superior athleticism with limited skillsets, the way he runs the point, makes those guys look like All-Americans.
Not only is Blacksher considered the top pure point guard in the state, he is widely considered one of the top on the West Coast. His handle, court vision and ability to knock down the open shot make him a lethal weapon on the hardwood. He affects the game in so many ways that, as a basketball junky, it is hard not to become a fan of his.
Blacksher is a proven winner. He has been in high school for 3 years now and has just as many state championships, playing alongside backcourt mate and close friend Jaelen House (Arizona State commit) and Shemar Morrow. And he and his Shadow Mountain Matadors will be a favorite to win next year, which would give him a clean sweep and line his hand up with a ring for every finger but the thumb. And just in case you were wondering, it is not just the state of Arizona that feels his wrath, it is the nation. Head Coach Mike Bibby has built a national-level program at his alma-mater and Blacksher has been a big of part of it as anybody.
If you ask Head Assistant Coach August Mendes he will tell you this about his star point guard, "from my perspective in coaching him the last four years and seeing him compete against the top players in the nation. You don't have to worry if he is going to show up. He is prepared and detailed with his game situations. He is a competitor who fills the box score sheets with big-time numbers. But what is unique and elite about him compared to any other guard is that he has elite ball-handling ability. When it doesn't seem like anyone can break through a press or a double-team, he makes it look easy because of his high IQ and his ability to dribble through small gaps and attack." Mendes believes the college who lands him is going to get an elite two-way player who can create offense through his defense and a point-guard with an all-around game.
He is also an absolute gym-rat. When he is not in games or practicing, he is working out with Mendes or his personal trainers, Vaughn Compton and Brendon Lavender, who are widely considered two of the top trainers in the state.
Jovan has played elite-level AAU basketball since he was a kid. Last season, he suited up for one of the most well-respected programs in the country with Etop Udo-Ema and the Compton Magic. He shined in his role playing alongside a team full of the best players on the West Coast. This past season Shadow was invited to the Dick's National Tournament in New York and went heads up with Vernon Carey and the University School. Though they came up short, Blacksher shined in that game as well. He is now suiting up for Russell Westbrook's sponsored-EYBL team, Team Why Not alongside one of the top players in the country in Cassius Stanley. The two have already generated some highlights in their first live-session weekend together.
Earlier this morning, he was offered a full-ride scholarship from Head Coach Anthony Grant and the Dayton Flyers. The offer was his first of the spring in which should be a very active one for the talented lead-guard. He adds that offer to a list of Grand Canyon, Fresno State, Cal-State Northridge, North Dakota, UC-Davis, Portland and Northern Colorado. Do not be surprised if very soon that list gets longer and the schools get much bigger.
Stay tuned and try not to miss Blacksher this spring and summer. It's going to be a show! Stay tuned...
S/O to Ball Is Life for the footage on Blacksher and Team Why Not