St. Joseph Metuchen’s Karl Towns leads SportsU 16U’s

Towns at Under Armour Hoop Group Pitt Jam Fest

Karl Towns is a special talent. (photo above by Kelly Kline)

Listed at 6-9, 210 pounds, the class of 2015 center by way of St Joseph’s Metuchen (N.J.) has athleticism and averages close to double figures in most offensive categories.

The big man has the ability to post-up defenses in the paint and fall back on a mid-range to even picking his spots to shoot over opponents from range.

The freshman has been compared to Andrew Bynum, also an alumni of St Joe’s. The most recent wave of highly touted Jersey high school recruits like Kyle Anderson (UCLA) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky) drew similar attention.

But even with masses of reporters gathered around the mature and humble Towns, he explains the real challenge to overcome is on the court.

“I’m just looking for a great education under a coach where I can get comfortable and learn a system,” he said. “It’s just a blessing to have my hard work be recognized by big-time schools.”

Gathering interest from Kentucky, North Carolina, Baylor, Ohio State, Michigan St, Florida, Rutgers, and Seton Hall, even elder teammates at the same position have praised the 6-9 freshman.

“He can post up almost anyone in the country” said 16U SportsU teammate Quadri Moore. “And, he can shoot threes. That’s the beauty of it.”

On top of that, Towns’s personal doctor says he still has room to grow at least more 2-inches.

Looking for a vibrant and supportive community to share his time and talents with, Towns stresses he’d be willing to play anywhere on the floor, considering he’s a student of the game. He even referred to some elite company.

“Any style works for me, inside or outside. It just depends on where coach wants me. Michigan State’s Draymond Green and Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger are examples of what I’d like to do.”

With such a high bar set, the St. Joseph’s big man will have to continue to face expectation, media, and hype that will crowd his space. A challenge Towns feels he can overcome like he does with obstacles on the court.

“It’s actually not that overwhelming. When it first started you went ‘wow.’ But I’ll never feel overwhelmed because I will have my family. I’m just being me.”

Amile Jefferson at Pitt Jam Fest

2011 Pennsylvania Gatorade Player of the Year Amile Jefferson showcased his talents in the Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest with AAU team Philly’s Finest (PA).

The 6’7”, 195lb power forward from Friends Central HS (PA) was eliminated with his AAU squad after scoring 22 points in a bitter 67-54 defeat.

“From group camps, instructional programs, to even AAU tournaments, whenever you come, you have to bring your best,” said Jefferson of the Jam Fest’s relentless competition. “In the later rounds there are even better teams, and these guys won’t give you second chances.”

Coming off a 2011 season where he averaged nearly 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game, the lanky 2012 power forward has a wide wingspan, well-developed court awareness, as well as impressive quickness in transition that allows him to get to the basket with ease.

Enhanced with a smooth way about playing the game, his physical attributes look to come with ease.

“I want to be able to motivate my team,” said Jefferson. “When we’re playing bad, I want to put that on my back and come out and play better next game”

The crafty Jefferson already has high expectations as the 3rd ranked power forward in the Class of 2012, according to ESPN. Listed 180lbs, Jefferson noted his weight having climbed to a larger 195lbs. The additional 15lbs is something scouts note as essential for him in traffic when driving to the rim gathering physical contact.

“From this point I know I need to hit outside from 15-feet to three point range, “ said Jefferson dissecting his game. “My shot needs to become much more consistent.”

Amile Jefferson through the recruiting process has been in connection with Villanova, Temple, Pitt, Georgetown, Ohio Stat, Maryland, Miami, West Virginia, and Wake Forest just to name a few.

From this point appears to only be a short distance away, with the development of his mid to outside game, from becoming an elite player.

Family Tree of Jerami Grant Has Strong Roots in Basketball

When it comes to basketball, the Grant family tree knows the game as well as any one.

6’7”, 190lb Jerami Grant is the son of 11-year ex-NBA power forward and current University of Hampton Assistant Coach Harvey Grant. He hit the hardwood with AAU power Team Takeover DC, winning the 2011 Hoop Group Pittsburgh Jam Fest 17U Championship at the Petersen Events Center on Sunday.


17U Team Takeover won the championship at the Hoop Group Pitt Jam Fest in 2011. Jerami was instrumental in their run through the 96 team field.

“We have a lot of athleticism on this team,” said Grant on his squad’s play making ability. “We just try to use it. It definitely makes our team a lot better.”

The rising senior from DeMatha Catholic High School (MD) utilizes a wire-like frame well, fighting for rebounds on every possession, in addition facing up to the basket to score. A vertical leap that can reach the cylinder for the slam adds to a skill set that could have him playing at any number of positions once recruited by perspective colleges.

“I have talked to a lot of schools,” said the Hyattsville, Maryland native, pointing out UVA, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Georgetown, and Maryland as schools interested in him. “I’m very open right now.”

Coming from a family where inherited family chromosomes spell elite basketball, Jerami will again follow in the footsteps of older brothers Jerai Grant, a senior forward at Clemson, and Jerian Grant, a freshman guard at Notre Dame.

Going into his senior year, Jerami Grant will have one more season to play under DeMatha Head Coach Mike Jones, continuing a winning tradition and transitioning to a new one at the collegiate level.