"It's All About The Game"

Premier Training Camp updates, Pt. 2






Ron Bailey, Publisher

Several more players in the DC Premier pipeline.


April 7, 2014 - In the final installment of our DC Premier Training Camp coverage, several more players are reported upon.

For Update Pt. 1, click here. Access this link for a look at the overall training camp.

Oumar Barry - 6'9", 210 pound junior center, Bishop O'Connell (VA) - Hailing from Guinea, West Africa, Barry is a newcomer to the U.S., sharing of the adjustment " I come here four or five months ago. it was my first time in the United States. I spoke no English, but I try and learn it every day". A speaker of multiple languages, including French, Barry went on to say in his accent "The teachers at school tried to help me understand English", important for school work and "because if I didn't understand what the coach was saying on the court, it would not be easy for me".

The transition to American basketball has been challenging on multiple fronts.

That's A.J. Wilson defending Oumar Barry.

First of course was communicating. "For me to understand the play, they would have to say 'Oumar, go this way or that way'...The coaches helped me. We've been working hard".

Based on training camp, he's been doing so on the court as well. Last fall it was clear Barry was a big man that had been drilled shooting, as he had a fairly good mid-range touch.

Now, Oumar is working around the tin, initiating his offense back to the basket. He must develop better footwork in that regard, but presently Barry can score going over his shoulder and on stick backs and alley-oops. He's now a presence inside.

Aiding that has been strength training and weight gain, of which Barry noted "I do push ups a lot. They let me lift a little bit, but nothing heavy". Proud of gaining twenty pounds since arriving, he also admitted "I eat a lot", smiling and laughing as he said so.

What about DC Premier and it's benefit to him?

"I think it's a good thing" he answered. "There are a lot of fun friends here, they make me laugh a lot. I think that's an important thing; your teammates, being with your teammates, and to have the same idea, look at the same direction". Additionally, he believes "The coaches are very nice people".

In terms of recruitment Barry noted "I don't know yet, but DePaul wants me to go there". He also indicated interest is picking up up, but reiterated "I don't know yet".

After the summer playing at the 17u level, he'll certainly have options.

"The sky's the limit for him" said Premier's 17u head coach, Corey McRae. "He has high major all over him".

His assistant, Jamar Betz agreed, adding "I think skill wise he has to just get comfortable" including getting used to playing as a big man constantly. "On offense, he didn't have the tutulage coming up...When the light bulb turns on, he's going to be a pretty good one".

Asante Shivers - 6'3", 190 pound junior guard, Clinton Christian (MD) - Young for his grade, Shivers will compete with the 16u team, which is bad news for opponents. He's a season stronger, wiser and will be a load to deal with.

"It's a different experience. I'll be playing at a higher level this year" he said, while also recognizing greater expectations exist as well, noting "I've prepared all season for the challenge".

Expect him to drive, finish and shoot on the court. Shivers is a strong player that also has quickness, making him a difficult cover. He's a capable defender, though doesn't apply himself in that regard as consistently as he should.

On the circuit this year, Shivers should also display more leadership. This past year at Clinton Christian might have prepared him for the job, as "It was a good experience with a lot of great dudes that wre good where they were playing at, but wanted to come together to win a championship". Sounds like travel team ball.

A self-proclaimed combo guard, Shivers shared at another event "I've got two offers - from Sam Houston State and Cal-Northridge" while "I'm being recruited by DePaul".

AJ Wilson - 6'7", 180 pound sophomore forward, Duval (MD) - When asked about Wilson, 16u head coach Butch Cherry opined "One word, unbelievable man. Again, he kind of leaves you speechless at times...great talent". That's high praise from a guy that has coached pros.

Wilson on playing for Premier and Cherry: "This is another level of action. It's my first time playing against people who are actually taller than me..It's going to be eye opening to play against people that are just like me; shot blockers, jumpers, leapers, shooters. So I'm looking forward to the challenge".

Resultantly, "It's going to make me show if I have a pure wing game or not...I have to use my skills that I was taught" he said.

Just how is that work, the dribbling, stop and pop and skill development coming along?

"Right now, I'd say it's a B+" he graded. "Right now, I'd say I have to work on shooting off the dribble, and my actual handle", the latter needing more wiggle since now he's more of a straight line, explosive guy.

AJ must also get stronger, of which he said "Right now I have been lifting, it's just a matter of me lifting consistently". He's a guy that could truly make a name for himself this summer.

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