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Recruiting: conversation with HS coach of St. John's target Shamorie Ponds

Shamorie Ponds is "dominating" this season; St. John's is targeting the local guard.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

It has been an unbearably cold winter in New York with temperatures so low that they rival the Knicks current lowly win total. However, the Thomas Jefferson Orange Wave gymnasium in Brooklyn is hotter than ever. That heat is emerging from the jump shot of talented junior guard, Shamorie Ponds. Ponds and the Orange Wave have dominated the court not just in Brooklyn, but all over the country.

Standing in at 6'0 and weighing in at a mere 160 pounds, Shamorie Ponds does not necessarily look like the most intimidating figure.

When the ball is in hands, however, Ponds is a defense's worst nightmare. Possessing a deadly left handed jump shot combined with blurring quickness, the junior guard has always had the tools to succeed on the basketball court.  This season Ponds has been able to put all his talents together and the results are stunning. The talented guard from Brooklyn is averaging 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists, while leading his team to a 13-1 record in league play.

Having watched Ponds play for the last three years, Thomas Jefferson coach Lawrence Pollard has noticed the changes in his game.

"He is an all around player who really does a little bit of everything," Pollard told the Rumble. "His game has really elevated this year. I think he has gotten a lot stronger and he has grown a couple of inches. He has also gotten a lot more confident and the game is coming really easy to him right now."

This year, Ponds has established himself as not only one of the best players in the five boroughs, but also as one of the best in the country.

"He is dominating PSAL and he is dominating some of the best players in the country," Pollard continued. "He has outplayed some of the top players in the country."

Over the holiday break in December, the Orange Wave traveled to San Diego to play in the prestigious Torrey Pines Holiday Classic. Just as he had done in New York for the past three years, Ponds put on a show on the hardwood.

The Orange Wave went 3-1 including a 79-72 win over Prime Prep and five star guard from the class of 2016, Terrance Ferguson.  Ponds proved himself as one of the best players at the tournament and was awarded a spot on the all tournament team.

While Ponds might already be one of the better players in the country, there are still areas of his game where he can improve. His coach believes that Ponds will work diligently to improve in those areas.

"He works on his game constantly as far as ball handling, shooting, conditioning and his strength," his coach said. "I think one of the things he really will have to work on is his strength. He has definitely gotten a lot better in that area and is playing more assertive basketball this year."

Ponds' spectacular play has college coaches lining up to recruit him. Before the season began, southpaw only had a few offers, but since then his list has exploded.

He has offers from Fordham, St. John's, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Miami, Seton Hall, and South Carolina.

In addition, he has already visited Maryland and they appear to be very interested.

Another successful summer on the AAU circuit and that list might be even bigger next year. In terms of his college decision, his coach is not sure yet what Ponds is thinking. However, he believes that Ponds' family will play a huge role in his decision.

"He is the type of guy who likes to explore, but he also likes to be close to home. He has a tight knit family and they come to all the games. But he is also a guy who likes to spread his wings as well. He likes to travel and visit different places," Lawrence Pollard said.

It will be fascinating to see which school Ponds chooses, but as he season comes to close, one has to speculate that his preeminent focus right now is on winning a city championship.