You first look at TJ Sanders and you think nose tackle, it’s inevitable, with how he is built and where he is from. However, watch him play one possession on the basketball court and you immediately notice the 6’6” junior at Marion High School should be getting looked at by division 1 basketball coaches.
Sanders is a big-bodied forward, who is able to do everything on the floor. He has great length and is very strong as a player. He is an excellent rebounder, partly because of his size, but also partly because he plays mean on the floor. What he does exceptionally well, however, is pass the ball. In Saturday’s Hartsville Invitational, Sanders threw numerous full-court outlet passes, that hit his teammates right on the numbers, for easy buckets.
When the outlet isn’t there, and there is an open floor, Sanders is also able to push the break and set/initiate the offense. Sure he is 6’6” and weighing in at a modest 250 pounds, but his ability on the floor far surpasses his size. He can score on the block, with both hands, over both shoulders, but he is also able to stretch out to the high post or top of the key, and knock down the jump shot or pass to the open man, as teammates cut off of him.
This season, Sanders is averaging 18 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks per game. Yes, productive, if not staggering numbers. He should be one these local and regional division 1s should be looking closely at. Once he gets into college, who knows what he could and would become. However, I do know with the way he is able to pick apart a defense, he is not someone I would want to play against.