WINTER HAVEN, Fla.- Jonathan Jean is a name that will sneak up on the basketball world this year.
A 5-foot-11 point guard from East Bay (Fla.) who heads the talented Nike Team Florida during the AAU season, Jean made a name for himself alongside some of the best young talent in Florida with Haanif Cheatham and Florida-bound Kevarrius Hayes during the summer months when he helped to take down V.J. King and Luke Kennard‘s King James Shooting Stars in the semifinals of the 16U National Championships in Orlando.
“After this summer, I really feel like I can run the show,” Jean told SNY.tv after a 31-point, 6-rebound and 3-assist performance at the Josh Giles MLK Classic. “Its so much easier with so many talented players though.”
A pure point guard that never looks like he is ever forced to play at a speed he doesn’t want to, Jean says that it runs in the family.
“A lot of it comes from my brother,” Jean said. “He’s a very experienced college player, he played at the University of Tampa, he knows a lot about the game, so he’s helped me a lot.”
Jean’s stock has exploded since he took advantage of playing with NTF, receiving offers from West Virginia, Central Florida, South Florida and many other lower D1 schools. His stock has only continued to rise with UConn and Clemson coming by to watch him play recently.
“Illinois, Nebraska, UConn, Alabama and Clemson have all shown interest,” Jean said. “Clemson has stopped by a couple times and UConn hit me up recently.”
This summer, Jean will lead Nike Team Florida into battle on the EYBL circuit, and he has one big goal.
“I want to win Peach Jam,” Jean said. “It would mean a lot, because not a lot of people where I’m from know about it, so it would really put us on the map.”
Jean is on the map now. That is for certain.
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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.