Throughout this week, our own IMG Academy basketball program Alums have truly shined throughout the early part of the NBA and NCAA regular seasons. Some of these athletes include:
Vince Carter, forward/guard for the Dallas Mavericks.
In his 13th year out of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, "Vinsanity" has proven that he still has a bit of spark left in his game.The 34 year old is averaging a solid 9.1 points a game and still making the highlights, he has truly confirmed that age isonly a number. After the Mavericks win against the Detroit Pistons, NBA.com captured this quote from Carter:
"I pride myself in being a playmaker. That's what this team is predicated on, making plays for each other, and that kind of fits my mold. That's just how we are, a very unselfish team. You got to see a little bit of that tonight. When Jason's (Kidd) on the floor, he's one of the best at it, so that's what I wanted to bring."
The eight time all star upheld his statement by providing 5 assists in Jason Kidd's absence.
Jrue Holiday,point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers.
In only his second year out of UCLA, Holiday's name is now being mentioned with some of the top point guards in the league. An article from Real GM basketball continues by stating:
âAt 6'4 200 with a 6'7 wingspan, Holiday is the rare young point guard without a serious hole in his game. He has the size to defend his position and rebound; he can shoot from the perimeter (a 37.5% career three point-shooter), create his own shot off the dribble (taking 27% of his shots in the paint last season) and run a team (averaging 6.5 assists per 2.7 turnovers last season).â
The Sixers have now won their sixth game in a row due to the help of Holiday's outstanding performance. In their latest win against the kings, Holiday had an all around effort with 17 points, eight assists, six rebounds and four steals.
Kevin Martin, guard for the Houston Rockets.
In his third season with the Houston Rockets, the 7 year veteran continues to be productive day in and day out. As he has done throughout his career, Martin continues to uphold the meaning of the "charity stripe", shooting a staggering 93.9 percent (31-33) on the season. He stayed right at his average of 17 points a game in the Rockets win against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Kyle Lowry, guard for Houston Rockets.
Alongside another IMG Alumnae (Kevin Martin) these two guards make up an almost unstoppable back court for the Houston Rockets. In his fifth year out of Villanova, the six foot guard is averaging 14 points, almost 10 assist, and almost 7 rebounds a game.
Here is a clip of Lowery truly in his element; presenting a great deal of unselfishness, leadership, and overall teamwork.
Iman Shumpert, guard for the New York Knicks.
In only his first season out of Georgia Tech, this 21 year old guard has proven that he is ready to play with the big boys. As the 17th overall pick of the 2011 draft, Shumpert is averaging 13.2 points, 4 rebound, and 4 assists a game coming off the bench.
Shumpert's teammates, including 4 time all star Carmelo Anthony are starting to call him the âsteal of the draftâ due to his overall performance and immediate impact. In an article on NYDailyNews.com, Anthony continueson about Shumpert's overall impact on the Knicks organization.
âOne thing I like about him is that he doesn't lack confidence,â Anthony said. âI love that. I'm a guy who doesn't lack confidence. So he fits right in. We feed off him throughout the game. He plays like he has a chip on his shoulder.â
Glen Davis, center/forward for the Orlando Magic.
The big man from LSU is starting to adapt and contribute for his new Orlando Magic team. With all the Dwight Howard trade talk, "Big Baby" will most likely become an essential part of the Magic's rotation due to his overall hard work and physical presence in the post.
In an article ESPN.com, coach Stan Van Gundy commented on Davis overall style of play,"A lot of what Glen does, he can certainly get numbers, but a lot of what he does will never show up on a stat sheet." Van Gundy was referring to the "dirty work" -- taking charges, diving for loose balls, setting screens, etc.
During the Magic's latest win against the Sacramento Kings, Davis proved that he can have the best of both worlds, quality play as well as quality stats. He scored a season high 20 points (8-13) and grabbed 8 rebounds on the night.
Proving that Davis is a perfect match for the Magic's organization, here is an amusing clip showing the overall team comradery already taking place in Orlando.
Kenny Kadji, forward/ center Miami Hurricanes
After transferring from The University of Florida, 6â11 sophomore Kenny Kadji has proven to be essential part of the Miami Hurricanes back court. With other forward Reggie Johnson slowly recovering from a serious knee injury, Kadji has had to step up and become the go to big man for the Canes. After averaging 4.4 points as a freshman in 2010, he is now up to 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds a game with a double-double in his last three outings. In the Canes latest game against the North Carolina Tar heels, Kadji scored a career highwith 16 points and left quite the impression on coach Roy Williams and former IMG alumJohn Henson. An article by Andrew Jones from Fox Sports South captures the Tar Heels impressions on the emerging Kadji.
"When I used to work out at IMG in the summers I'd see him down there," said UNC forward John Henson, who is from Tampa. "He's always been a great player, he's a load, and he scored on me tonight."
"Kenny's hard to guard. He's 6-11, can shoot the ballâ¦," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "I thought that Kadji and Reggie were really good. They scored for them.â