Jabari Atkinson 6’1 155 2020 The Steward School, Richmond VA)
Jabari is a very good shooter who can really fill it up and with good efficiency from deep! He can also catch and put the ball on the floor to create for himself and for teammates using great quickness to get to the rim and excellent vision and passing skills to find cutters or kick out to teammates for open looks. He is a tremendous athlete with a compact frame, powerful legs and a strong upper body. He possesses excellent speed, agility and explosiveness to round out his impressive athletic profile. His shot making skills are high level! He likes to spot up beyond the arc for catch and shoot opportunities and he can flat out blister the nets at a high rate from deep. His shot preparation is fantastic allowing him to play “ball quick”. He steps into the pass nicely and gets to his shot pocket as quick as anybody I’ve seen. His fundamentals are sound through is compact stroke and high release. He can get his shot off in the blink of an eye and wastes no movement. He does a great job collecting even bad passes and getting into his shot quickly and under control and can step into the pass or catch with a hop step and enjoy equal results. He gets excellent lift on his jumper.
Jabari doesn’t force shots or take bad shots showing solid decision making in his shot selection. He uses a quick dribble move after the catch against hard closeouts, what some may refer to as a “stab” dribble where he quickly puts the ball on the floor and uses his explosive first step and then makes a move off his second dribble and navigates the floor with his great vision looking to attack the rim or pass to a teammate. His explosiveness compliments his high level shot making skills and he keeps constant pressure on the defense. He also uses the jab on the catch freezing hard charging defenders to create space for the jumper. Jabari likes to get downhill quickly and does a great job creating for himself and for teammates off the dribble. His handle, vision and passing skills suggest he could serve as a lead guard when needed but he is so effective off the ball and brings great value as a floor spacer. Jabari can beat defenders with his quick first step going left or right off a quick rip and can keep defenders on his hip with his strength. He has solid ball handling skills and is capable of changing directions with the dribble effectively. The same attributes that make him such a solid threat with the dribble in the half court make him almost impossible to contain in space. Jabari’s strong frame, quickness, athleticism, solid handle and aggressiveness make him a menace in transition. He’s tough to stay in front of, he can get end to end in a flash where he is a very good finisher, he can attack you with his dribble and pass to a cutter for an easy basket and he can sprint ahead and spot up where he can flat out bury you from deep with the jumper or blow by a hard charging defender and make a play off the bounce. He really shows a polished and smooth offensive game.
Jabari’s physical attributes and defense will solidify his status as a next level prospect. He uses his quick feet and strength to stifle dribble penetration as an on ball defender and plays with a high intensity level. He puts strong pressure on the ball both in the half court and full court moving his feet extremely well and being able to play quick and physical. He’s also very good in passing lanes using outstanding anticipation and quickness. Jabari’s recruiting suffered having missed his sophomore year and parts of his junior season recovering from an ACL injury. He shows no ill effects from that injury as his quickness and shiftiness proves. Once healthy and back on the floor he didn’t waste time attracting the attention of college coaches. A perennial honor roll student and National Honor Society member, Jabari has proven he can get it done in the classroom at a high level as well. His high level play on the court has attracted interest from Point Park University, Queen’s University, Hood College, Ferrum and Randolph Macon on a list that continues to grow! With the season he is having as a key contributor on a championship caliber team at The Steward School, look for Jabari to secure a few offers in the not too distant future.