He’d hear it consistently, the time period thrown at him from each angle, each faculty coach providing a vapid thanks-but-no-thanks to Jimmy Oladokun.
You may have potential — however. The potential’s good – however.
“It does hurt,” Oladokun mentioned. “Immensely.”
The phrase “potential” turned detrimental for Oladokun, a 6-foot-9 senior ahead who got here to Chatsworth Sierra Canyon over the summer time however is hardly the standard Trailblazers switch. He was content material at La Verne Damien Excessive earlier than the principal of his seventh-grade sister’s faculty left, sending his household scrambling to search out her a strong schooling, ultimately touchdown on Sierra Canyon and persuading Oladokun to return alongside for the journey.
“This is definitely something that my family motivated me heavily to do,” Oladokun mentioned of the switch, smiling softly. “Once I got here, I always had the mindset that once I’m here, I have to make the best out of it.”
On Wednesday, the storm from all of the adjustments in his life lastly calmed, Oladokun signing a letter of intent to play for the College of San Diego within the afternoon and main the Trailblazers to an 85-53 win over King/Drew at night time of their first recreation of the season.
Bronny James, anticipated to be the group’s senior chief, was out sick Wednesday, and junior five-star prospect Isaiah Elohim was nonetheless recovering from a knee damage. However Oladokun shouldered the load, bullying his technique to 24 factors. Newly minted Memphis commit and fellow switch Ashton Hardaway’s vaunted three-point stroke was off in his first recreation, however he proved lithe across the rim on his technique to 18 factors.
It is a Sierra Canyon program with lofty expectations. Coach Andre Chevalier known as it the “deepest team we’ve ever had” on the program’s media day, and level guard Dylan Metoyer known as it “comeback season” after shedding to Corona Centennial in final yr’s Open Division semifinals. However first the Trailblazers should mix a slew of switch expertise into an current roster — and so they have a “long way to go,” Chevalier mentioned.
Early on, Oladokun was overwhelmed at instances — starstruck because the group performed in entrance of packed crowds in Europe, lacking his former teammates. The stress of an unfulfilled dedication weighed, making an attempt to impress invisible clipboards within the stands on each play. Attempting, desperately, to show himself.
However after placing pen to paper Wednesday, the burden lifted, and Oladokun soared above the rim. Chevalier mentioned his bigs have been enjoying “soft” at instances, and Oladokun took the teaching workers’s problem to play powerful. He was a constant supply of offense because the Trailblazers threw the ball each which means throughout the health club to begin, holding an overmatched King/Drew squad within the recreation, earlier than Oladokun scored three consecutive baskets within the third quarter to place the sport away.
He would possibly’ve been reluctant to return to Sierra Canyon at first. However he’s important to the group’s hopes for a state title.
“I want to be here, now that I’m here, and focus on everything I can do to help,” he mentioned.
Bryce James debuts
His first shot in a Trailblazers uniform was a factor of magnificence, a double-take baseline drive and left-handed floater over two leaping King/Drew defenders, dad LeBron James miming the lefty end from his courtside seat.
A special James sibling took the ground for Sierra Canyon on Wednesday night time, sophomore Bryce James making his Trailblazers varsity debut in entrance of oldsters LeBron and Savannah James. With older brother Bronny James sidelined, the anticipate the siblings to share the ground was delayed, however Bryce confirmed flashes, scoring six factors in massive minutes.
“Bryce has improved so much … in practice against him, he can shoot the … the ball, ” Oladokun mentioned.
Coach’s son shines
It was a David-versus-Goliath matchup Wednesday, as King/Drew coach Lloyd Webster described. However the Golden Eagles threw a couple of stones regardless of a blowout loss, as Webster’s freshman son Josahn made three three-pointers.
It was a troublesome stage for a primary highschool recreation, enjoying in entrance of LeBron James. However Webster has a pure confidence. He mentioned his purpose by the top of his freshman yr was to safe not less than one supply from a Division I program.