Al-Amir Dawes is ready to lead the NJ Playaz – Q&A with HG Insider on the upcoming AAU season & more

The New Jersey Playaz are always a team to watch in the Nike EYBL. This year the Playaz will rely a lot on class of 2019 guard Al-Amir Dawes. Dawes, a standout from The Patrick School in New Jersey, is ready to take on this role and put his team in a position to win a Peach Jam Championship. Dawes spoke on this and more with Hoop Group Insider.

Q: What are some goals that you have in mind for this AAU season?

A: “Going into my final AAU season I’m just trying to do one thing and that’s win the Peach Jam Championship,” said Dawes. “We want to continue the tradition the Playaz have built through the years.”

Q: This year you are going to play more of a leadership role. What are you learning about what it takes to be a leader?

A: “I am learning how to put a team on your back and I’m trying to be more of a coach and a player,” he said. “I want to be there for my teammates, teach the new guys and just lead by example.”

Q: What did you learn last year from your 17u experience in the Nike EYBL?

A: “I learned that when you play in the EYBL you can’t take any plays off,” he said. “You have to give it your all every play and put you blood, sweat and tears into it.”

Q: What are some things you guys need to focus on to put yourselves in a good spot to win it all?

A: “I think what we need to focus on as a whole is chemistry,” Dawes said. “That is important especially in the EYBL with teams who have been together since sixth grade. We are just working on our chemistry so once we get that figured out we will put ourselves in a good position to win the Peach Jam.”

Q: For those that haven’t seen you play, when your playing well what are you doing on the floor?

A: “When I’m playing well I make a lot of shots and the hoop gets a lot bigger,” he said. “I also play quick defense, talk a lot and my game continues to elevate. The more fun I have the better I play.”

Q: What would you say makes the New Jersey Playaz the program that it is today?

A: “With Jimmy Salmon, I think he makes players good on and off the court,” Dawes said. “We have a family like relationship here and that’s what really makes our program as good as it is.”

Q: What are some personal goals you have in mind for this season?

A: “I’m trying to make a much bigger name for myself,” he said. “I’m trying to improve upon my recruitment and like I said to keep getting my name out there.”

Al-Amir Dawes Ready For Increased Role at The Patrick School

Al-Amir Dawes from The Patrick School will have a lot of responsibility placed on his shoulders this season and judging off his performance at the Hoop Group Fall High School Showcase, he is ready for it. Dawes came into the high level event with a winning mindset.

“I just wanted to come out here and help my team win,” said Dawes. “I’m trying to put my teammates in a better position to score and do whatever I can to come away with a win.”

With Dawes undertaking a bigger role this season, he plans on doing a bit more on the court than he usually does.

“This year I am facilitating it a bit more, when last year I was doing a lot more off the wing,” he said. “This year I’m focusing more on getting the ball to my teammates so they can score. I’ve also worked on being more communicative on the floor.”

The class of 2019 guard has collected offers from Rutgers, Seton Hall, Minnesota and DePaul. Three of those schools have made him a priority.

“I would say that Rutgers, Seton Hall and Minnesota have been making me a priority,” Dawes said.

He also said Maryland and Rhode Island have expressed a lot of interest in him and could be close to offering.

The Patrick School won the TOC last season and they are looking to bring it back home this year.

“We have to take home the TOC, a lot of teams haven’t won it back to back,” said Dawes. “I know I can speak for all of my teammates and say that we all want it really bad this year.”

With Kentucky center Nick Richards, Minnesota guard Jamir Harris, Seton Hall point guard Jordan Walker, Monmouth guard Marcus McClary all graduating The Patrick School lost a lot of talent. Dawes wants to prove doubters wrong that don’t believe they will be able to compete at the same level this year.

“I’m just trying to prove that it doesn’t matter how many players we lost from last year,” he said. “I want to prove that every year The Patrick School will be ready.”