West Coast post presence doing post-grad year

West Coast post presence doing post-grad year

During the April Live Period, and again now in July, the Hunting Park Warriors have drawn a nice collection of Patriot League, CAA, and Atlantic 10 coaches, among others, to their games. Any coaches, or fans for that matter, watching now, are likely noticing a new face running with the Warriors. At the Hoop Group Summer Classic East, I caught up with 6'10 Jamaree Strickland.

Jamaree Strickland, a native of Oakland, California is running with the Hunting Park Warriors this summer and living with family in Philadelphia. Hawk Hill Hardwood spoke with both Strickland, and his mentor Rasool Hajj, about overcoming injury, adjusting to a new city, a post-grad year, and the schools that are taking a look.

According to Hajj, Jamaree tore his ACL and "didn't really play much at all during his junior or senior years of school." Overcoming ACL injuries can be challenging, but Strickland was very upbeat about his situation. "It feels quite strong really," he stated. "I've been rehabbing it every day. The biggest thing for me is just getting my conditioning back up after not playing for a while."

Strickland is a huge body out there on the court, checking in at right around 6'10, with some length, and width to him. After graduating from high school in Oakland, he is playing with the Hunting Park Warriors this summer and then doing a post-grad year at Queen City Prep in North Carolina. There, according to Hajj, he will continue to improve his conditioning, his game, and "work on his test score."

Moving from coast to coast, and acclimating yourself to a new climate and new teammates can be a challenge. However, Jamaree says that everything to this point has been great. "They're (Hunting Park Warriors) great kids. I like it out here. The kids have been really friendly and nice, especially since I'm a West Coast kid and everything," Jamaree explained.

Jamaree, David George, and Jai Williams are an imposing frontcourt for the Warriors. On the court, and in front of the college coaches, Jamaree said that there are two things he has been most focused on. "I'm trying to solidify my defense and rebound the ball. I'm not worried about my offense right now. I want to play defense and get rebounds," Strickland said.

Prior to this summer, a number of schools had inquired about Strickland, and at least three more have this summer. According to Hajj, "San Jose State, North Texas, Cal State Bakersfield, San Francisco, and Mizzouri State" are the schools that had been in touch before the summer began. In just the past week, Hajj said that "Fairfield, James Madison, and Quinnipiac" have been in touch with him.

Having not played much basketball in two years, Jamaree is still shaking off some of the rust and getting himself back into basketball shape. With his size, desire to defend and rebound, and a prep year ahead of him, Jamaree Strickland looks like a player on the rise.

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