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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Air to the throne

Most 15-year-old boys heavily involved in basketball spend time hoping that somewhere within them, they might have the talent to someday play basketball at least for a Division I university and possibly even for a career on the professional level.
For 15-year-old J-Mychal Reese of Bryan, he doesn’t need to aspire to be great. He already is.
“When he was born, March Madness was on the TV in my wife’s birthing room,” said his father, Bryan High School Head Basketball Coach John Reese. “All he’s ever done is basketball.”
There may not be a truer statement, considering that he had mastered the art of dribbling at the age of two – a time when most kids were still struggling to walk without falling flat on their faces. Now, as an 8th grader standing 6-feet-1-inch tall, the soft-spoken kid has more talent than most of the other kids on his team combined. At this point in his life, J-Mychal doesn’t have to worry about anything except doing what he loves: Playing basketball.
“I like playing a lot,” J-Mychal said. “Every time I step on the court, I just play.”
His early and abnormal success in AAU leagues based out of Houston sparked national attention. In an AAU National Championship game in 2004, J-Mychal scored 31 points in his team’s victory. The opposing team combined for only 35.
Both Texas A&M and the University of Arizona have already extended scholarship offers toward J-Mychal, who currently sits as the No. 1 ranked high school prospect for the recruiting class of 2012.
“I don’t worry about all that stuff,” J-Mychal said.
Even the NBA has begun to look upon the young phenomenon with interest. In 2005, he was invited to the NBA All-Star game in Denver, where he participated in an exhibition game against others in his age group. His tenacity was proven as he finished as the game’s top scorer – with a broken foot.
“There is no doubt in our mind that Reese, who is multi-dimensional enough to play four different positions, should be the No. 1 ranked player in the class,” said Clark Francis, editor of hoopscooponline.com.
In just 15 years, J-Mychal has garnered more media attention than most do in a lifetime. In 2006, he appeared in an episode of ESPN’s news magazine Outside the Lines about “Diaper Dandies.” Later that summer, he was featured in an ESPN The Magazine article about his early and incredible achievements. He also appeared in a video chronicling sports stars of tomorrow hosted by legendary broadcaster Pat Summerall.
To date, J-Mychal has shown interest in playing college ball for A&M, Texas, North Carolina and UCLA.
Even in the midst of all the attention he has received, J-Mychal considers himself a fan of the Aggies.
“We get to watch [A&M] a lot,” J-Mychal said. “We go watch them almost every time they play at home.”
This past year, J-Mychal participated in Mark Turgeon’s Texas A&M Junior Elite basketball camp, wow-ing those on the floor with him.
“It was fun,” Reese said. “I got to meet the players and they taught us a bunch of stuff about playing hard and playing tough.”
J-Mychal’s biggest fan, his father John, has taken the unique job of being both father and coach and has given his son advice as his imminent arrival on the national stage draws closer and closer.
“I tell him the three H’s,” John said. “You’ve got to stay humble, you’ve got to stay hungry and you’ve got to stay honest.”
Next year J-Mychal will more than likely attend Bryan High School, where he will have the chance to play for his Dad once again.
After that, for the best eighth grader in the country, the sky’s the limit.

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