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RONDAE JEFFERSON: CHESTER PROUD & BUILT CHESTER TOUGH
Multi-talented ’13 G/F sets January 3rd decision date
By Ron Bailey
When he was younger, Rondae Jefferson was like a lot of kids in Chester – he greatly loved basketball. It’s a community thing.
“We just take a lot of pride in it, we really do” said the Class of 2013 forward of what round ball means to people in Chester, a hard scrabble city just outside of Philadelphia. “That’s the only sport that’s happening in our area, everybody just gives it a 110%, (the game) just motivates us.”
As such, Jefferson, a 6-foot-7, 200-pounder who attends Chester High School didn’t simply confine playing to his age group: “We’d go play with the older guys, they’d be more physical, stronger. It just makes us play hard. We might not be able to score on them, but we’d go out and try and defend somebody, try to bump somebody; just try and get mentally stronger and physically.”
That toughness was on display during Nike Global Challenge play yesterday, where Rondae demonstrated a relentless nature around the rim, attacking the goal. He also can hit outside shots, and when so desired create for others. Defensively Jefferson is not a lockdown defender, but is not afraid to stick his nose in the fray.
Not surprisingly, Jefferson views the BIG EAST’s ‘go-hard’ ethos favorably, saying during this post game interview “It’s an aggressive conference. They like winning championships. It’s a physical conference, so you have to be mentally and physically ready to play in that conference.”
“Texas, Arizona, Memphis, Syracuse, Temple, Rutgers” comprise his school list and most other reports also include Florida as the seventh team under final consideration. A decision will be announced on January 3rd.
Why that arbitrary date? “It’s my birthday,” he responded.
Jefferson considers himself a future “point forward” in college. But judging from some mis-dribbles during the Global Challenge’s first game – a few resulting turnovers – does he need to improve his ball patting to do so?
“Naw, it’s those Nike balls” surprisingly replied Jefferson, answering honestly while simultaneously displaying a sense of humor, delivering the comment with a grin.
Wherever he goes, expect a distinct level of toughness to follow.
Despite Jefferson’s take, his handle should improve for college, thereby allowing him to attack off the bounce more proficiently in college. It’s not that Jefferson can’t drive, just currently he is better at one-two dribble than actually creating off the bounce. Could use more wiggle in his dribble game.
Jefferson’s a strong player that will definitely pound the tins. Also has good shooting skills, off spot up or maybe a few dribbles and pull up. Didn’t see him work off screens, though he looks to have the balance and strength to do so.
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