Photo Credit: UNC Charlotte Team Camp

Player: KJ Simmons

Class: 2017

HT: 6'3, 158 pounds

High School: Western Branch High School, Chesapeake VA

 

High School Coach Evaluation: Expect a coming out party for KJ this year. As a junior coming into Western Branch he struggled with our motion offense. KJ worked extremely hard and put in extra hours in the gym during the off season to improve all areas of his game. He is no longer an tentative player. He has greater confidence in his long range jump shot and attacks the basket with more aggression and purpose. He was a good catch and shoot zone buster last year, but now he has shown the ability to make the pull up jumper off the dribble as well. His improved ball handling will allow him to play either guard position. He has also taken on a leadership role on a team that still has many underclassmen. Several college coaches are starting to notice his ability to score the basketball. If KJ can continue to get stronger and continue to play at a high level more recognition is sure to come. Coach Paul Hall, Head Varsity Basketball Coach Western Branch High School

Coach Frank says: KJ has really made great improvements over the past two seasons in his shot consistency, ability to read defenses and move without the ball and on becoming more ball quick where he catches the ball in a shot ready posture. He has picked up a couple inches in addition to more muscle on his lanky frame and long arms and of course that has been a great benefit in his production on the court. He is without doubt one of the 757's most dangerous long range shooting threats and now a player who is tough to defend because of his ability to get open and his quick release. He has disciplined shot mechanics from his footwork into his release and follow through. I've been following KJ since his 8th grade season at Wilson High School in Portsmouth VA watching a small and skinny yet crafty and competitive guard demonstrate a strong court presence and good skills yet lacking in a physical presence. He has grown both physically and fundamentally as a player the last two seasons and is now a player that has DIII and some DII coaches paying close attention. He recently scored 27 points on 8-12 shooting beyond the arc in a fall league game against a very good John Marshall HS team with a number of DI prospects. His game has continued to mature now as KJ attacks the basket much better and more aggressively becoming a multi level scoring threat. He defends his position well and is a solid and likeable teammate. KJ is certainly on opponents' scouting reports and should also be on college coaches watch lists as he has become a key player on a young Western Branch team that has made great strides in two seasons under Coach Paul Hall and should compete for a state title this season!