By JACK LeGWINSpecial to ZAGSBLOG
The point guard position is loaded in Florida. The senior class has Kasey Hill, the junior class has Joel Berry and the sophomore class has Antonio Blakeney.
A 10th grader at Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, Blakeney plays for Each1Teach1 Elite 16U, and caught quite a bit of attention at the Source Hoops Travel Team Jamboree in wins over the Florida Tar Heels 16U and the Florida Vipers 16U.
A 6-foot-4, 170-pound point guard, Blakeney has shown tremendous upside, with the ability to slash with his athletic ability, as well as range to way beyond the arc. He welcomes contact, can play off the ball and excels in the open-court.
The young sophomore knows that there is still room for improvement, however.
“I’m trying to work on playing better defense, and pushing myself to become a better guard, by defending the other team’s best player,” he said.
He has received offers from South Florida, Kansas State, Central Florida and Georgia Southern, as well as interest from Clemson, Miami, Baylor, Memphis, Notre Dame, Florida and many others.
His coach at Cardinal Mooney, Stefan Gates, feels like the most improvement that can be made will happen in the weight room.
“He is like most 15- or 16-year-olds,” he said. “He needs to work on getting stronger, as well as getting ready for his last two years of high school.”
Gates feels if Blakeney works on his weaknesses, he can become one of the best point guards in the class.
“He is already a very good player,” he said. “If he works on getting stronger and works on his ball-handling, that goal is very attainable.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.