We caught up with one of the top 2014 block prospects, Jahlil Okafor out of Whitney Young H.S. Chicago, Illinois. Scouting the 6’9 Okafor last year he reminded us of a younger Jared Sullinger, big hands, excellent foot-work, strong body and the abilty to rebound and control the paint at his age are some of the reasons Okafor is considered a 5 star prospect. Here is what Okafor had to say to premierball.COM.
1. What position do you see yourself playing in college?
Okafor: Power forward/center
2. Do you feel like your game is getting enough recognition from the coaches, scouts and media?
Okafor: Yes. I feel like all the hard work is paying off.
3. When you think of college basketball, what are the first five schools that come to mind?
Okafor: There’s no specific 5 yet. Right now I’m still a fan of college basketball.
4. Do you have any unofficial visits planned in the future? If so, with who?
Okafor: I know I will take some in the future. But no there’s nothing planned yet.
5. Describe your game for coaches and fans that have not seen you up close?
Okafor: My game is a dominant post scorer and defender. I’m a true post player.
6. How is your freshman year going so far? Did you meet all your personal goals?
Okafor: My freshman year is going great. I’ve met all my goals. And even more. But I still have to win state.
7. Have you had any unofficial visits and where?
Okafor: No, I haven’t.
8. What is your official height?
Okafor: 6ft 10in
9. Would you travel to the opposite coast to attend college?
Okafor: Yes, most definitely.
10. Is staying close to home a good thing for you or does it not matter at all?
Okafor: No it doesn’t really matter. Whatever is best.
11. Give us the break down on what your goals are off the court?
Okafor: 3.0 GPA or higher. Give more thanks.
12. What type of playing style are you comfortable with?
Okafor: Any, I just like to play hard so I work well in a half court offense, or on a team that runs on every rebound.
13. What AAU team will you be playing for next year?
14. What part of your game do you feel you need to improve on the most?
Okafor: Staying in pristine shape.
15. Do you have a Facebook or a Twitter that you would like to share with us?
Okafor: Yes I have a Facebook.
16. What coaches have impressed you over the phone and in person and why?
Okafor: I haven’t spoken with many coaches. I allow my dad and coach to handle that.
17. Share with us your best game of the year.
Okafor: My best game of the year was against Austin. It was my first time starting as a freshman on varsity and I recorded 20 points & 8 rebounds plus we got the victory.
18. Who are some of the mentors that got you to where you are at right now?
Okafor: Dad, Uncle Emeka, Auntie Nai, Coach Freddy and Coach Abel (my AAU coaches from Arkansas).
19. When you’re 5 feet from the rim with the ball in your hands, what the heck is going through your mind?
Okafor: I need to find some way to put this ball through the hoop.
20. What are your strengths on the floor?
Okafor: My size, strength and footwork.
21. How hard do you work on your game? How much time do you put in?
Okafor: I work very hard. I put in A LOT of time. Everyday I’m in the gym working. Or I’m doing something out of the gym that’s going to help me with my game.
22. When did you first pick up a ball?
Okafor: When I was born. There are videos of me dunking on a little play rim when I was only 10 or 11 months old.
23. Name the schools that are recruiting you the hardest.
Okafor: There are quite a few, no need to name them.
24. What are your short term goals as a basketball player?
Okafor: As of now really just to get better. I recently made the 16 and under Olympic team, so I really want to bring a gold medal back for my country.
25. What are some of your long term goals as a player?
Okafor: As long as I continue to work and play hard, I would like to earn a college scholarship to a great school. Basketball would allow me to continue to experience different things and meet different people.
26. Give me the most memorable comment of your basketball career?
Okafor: Answer missing.
27. Give you family, friends and fans shout outs on Premierball.com.
Okafor: Shout out to my high school Whitney Young.
28. What gets your GAME ROCKING AND IN A GROOVE?
Okafor: When there are thousands of people in the gym hoping that I lose.
29. Are you Nike or Adidas, what’s your favorite?
Okafor: Oh NIKE most def!