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It started in the backroom of a townhouse in Silver Spring, Md., no hoop in sight, canada goose outlet store quebec just an 11 year old boy and the bum bum bum of a basketball bouncing off the hardwood floor.
uk canada goose The dribbler was Jao Ituka, born in Cameroon, used to kicking around a soccer ball, new to this sport everyone talked about in the United States. He was big for a sixth grader, so his friends tugged him onto the blacktop. Now he was in summer basketball camp during the day and poring over YouTube videos at night, eyes glued to the game’s finer details, mind set canada goose uk official on a rigid routine. uk canada goose
Sit at the computer for an hour. Dribble for an hour. Watch Kyrie Irving highlights. Mimic the star’s around the back move. Get yelled at by his parents to go to sleep. Pull up cheap canada goose more videos. Russell Westbrook, LeBron James. Imitate them. Bum bum bum. Then repeat.
“I didn’t like basketball until I realized I could watch players do things and then do it myself the exact same canada goose alternative uk way,” Ituka said. “That was like opening up a whole new world.”
Just two and a half years later, Ituka is a 6 foot 1 freshman with magnetic handles, a reliable jumper and a mission to tear down any poor rim that finds itself in his way. He is 13, built like a Division I guard, and his four syllable name is already https://www.fabulalitera.de coursing through basketball circles in one of the country’s most talented areas as the high school season tips off.
Jao Ituka, 13, hopes to play professional basketball one day. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)
But even as he studies others to polish his own game, Ituka’s approach to high school and AAU basketball counters the sport’s modern culture. Top talent, nationally and especially locally, is gravitating toward private and preparatory schools. Ituka attends Gaithersburg High, a public school in canada goose outlet Montgomery County, Md., that last won a state championship in 1998. Most of those top players are also concentrated in shoe sponsored AAU programs, under the recruiting umbrellas of Nike, Under Armour or Adidas. Ituka plays for the 1 Up Warriors, an unaffiliated Montgomery County organization still building a reputation. Many Division I prospects use social media as a recruiting tool, blasting out highlights and scholarship offers and a filtered view of their potential. Ituka doesn’t even have a cellphone.
He was pursued by a handful of private schools and top AAU programs in the summer leading into his freshman year. He chose to do things his own way, utilizing an old path to a high major scholarship and, he hopes, professional basketball career. And now Ituka has to answer a complicated question in an era built on perception and retweets.
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“I am not worried about the exposure or competition at Gaithersburg or in AAU; those things will come if you play well enough and stand out,” Ituka said. “I think I am in a position where I can stand out a lot. And you definitely can’t find competition in a Twitter feed. That’s for sure.”
cheap Canada Goose Arriving from Cameroon cheap Canada Goose
cheap canada goose uk Seven years ago, the Itukas won a visa lottery and the entire family immigrated from Limbe, Cameroon, with green cards and social security numbers. Ituka’s father, Fidelis Beseka, owned the town bakery in Limbe. His mother, Helen Ituka, stayed at home to take care of the kids. cheap canada goose uk
Jao Ituka is entering his freshman season for Gaithersburg. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)
But their lives became more strenuous in the United States. to midnight. Eyamba, the oldest of their six children at 20, turned down a Division II soccer scholarship to go to Montgomery College in Maryland and look after his siblings. He works at a Domino’s in Bethesda and chips in what he can, sometimes buying Jao new basketball gear and always driving his younger brother to practices and games.
uk canada goose outlet Before moving to Gaithersburg, the Itukas lived in four different houses and apartments, bouncing canada goose outlet new york from Silver Spring, to Bowie, canada goose outlet florida to Greenbelt, then back to Silver Spring before putting down a mortgage on their current home. uk canada goose outlet
“Sometimes we would go nights without even eating. It was hard,” Eyamba said. “But we just buy canada goose jacket cheap keep pushing through, and it’s better now. There’s no guide to making it in America.”
canada goose black friday sale Now Jao, the third born, is trying to make it in a sport he started just three years ago. His strength is attacking the rim, where he can draw fouls or finish well above the outstretched arms of opposing big men. He can space the floor with his jump shot, but he would rather pump fake a defender out of the way, knife into space and create for himself and teammates. canada goose black friday sale
He hopes all of that will attract big time college coaches, even if he isn’t playing where they normally look. Of ESPN’s top 50 recruits in the nation for 2018, 15 are public school players.
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Gaithersburg Coach Jeff Holda has already watched private schools approach Ituka about transferring, something that’s happened with Holda standing nearby. Tyrian Ridges, Ituka’s coach with the 1 Up Warriors, has seen the same. And if Ituka shines in his freshman season, there will be even more coaches and others trying to sway him into a different situation.
One of Jao Ituka’s biggest strengths is his ability to drive to the basket. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)
Ituka canada goose mens uk did not want to discuss those private schools, and instead stretched out the front of his jersey and said, “I play for GAI THERS BURG,” drawing out each syllable to make his point.
“It can definitely be done. There is always that player from a small school or program who makes it and surprises people,” said a power conference college assistant coach, who spoke under the condition of anonymity because of NCAA rules against discussing potential recruits. “But it’s hard. and Maryland. But I’ve actually seen Jao play, and he could do it.”
‘It’s too easy for him’
buy canada goose jacket cheap Last Tuesday, Gaithersburg’s gym buzzed with excitement as canada goose outlet store uk the Trojans tipped does canada goose go on sale black friday off their first preseason scrimmage. It was against Wootton, an in county opponent, and it was Ituka’s first shot at high school competition. He started fast, sinking two free throws, swooping in for a reverse and climbing to 10 first quarter points buy canada goose jacket cheap.