Pitt Hoop group Jam Fest 17U Platinum: Team Charlotte’s Demery and McInnis a Great Fit

The Pitt Jam Fest, along with the rest of the team tournaments, are designed to showcase high school talent to prospective college coaches and scouts. While the performance of the player is the most important aspect of a recruit, a good word from a respected figure never hurts.

That’s exactly what Team Charlotte guard James Demery has in head coach Jeff McInnis, who played 13 NBA seasons for seven team from 1996 to 2008. Being a former NBA player, McInnis knows talent and sees the potential that Demery brings to the table.

2b55eaab45ca2e86b383a89645eb2296“He can be so special, he’s one of the most underrated players around the country,” McInnis said following his team’s victory against Team Thad. “He’s a special kid, he’s a good christian kid, and just a great kid to be around.

“I wish I had two of him to coach.”

Demery, who turned plenty of heads with his play over the weekend, is certainly thankful for the opportunity to be coached by a former NBA player, and is willing to put in the work that comes with being a recruit that flies under the radar.

“Coach Jeff played 13 years in the NBA, so it’s great thing to hear something like that from Coach,” Demery said about his coach’s high praise. “He’s been with me, working hard in the gym everyday, trying to get me ready for that next level.”

With offers from Charlotte, Virginia Tech and Eastern Carolina in hand, and with Tennessee, Arkansas and Xavier all showing varying degrees of interest, Demery did no wrong in the Pitt Jam Fest, scoring 34 points against Baltimore’s Finest on Friday and adding 17 points in the victory over Team Thad on Sunday in the Elite 8.

With those performances, where Demery showcased his ability to finish at the rim multiple times, McInnis said that more schools have asked about Demery during the Pitt Jam Fest.

“This tournament has been a good thing for him.” McInnis said. “He picked up five schools, it’s been great for him. St. John’s, Pitt, ACC schools now know he’s down there. It’s a good fit.”

@AndrewKoob is a student at Temple University and staff writer for CityofBasketballLove.com, covering Philadelphia-area high school & collegiate basketball.

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