Name: Damani Applewhite
High School: Westover HS
AAU Team: Flight 22
Recruitment: Elizabeth City State (offered), UNC-P, Belmont Abbey, Fayetteville State University, The Citadel
Projected Level of Play: Low Major D1/D2
We first saw Damani prior to his Junior Season during the summer playing AAU basketball for the Raeford Hurricanes, he had a very old school flavor about his game and you could see the potential for him to be a special player. With much work, time and energy he has become a legit college prospect and we expect him to only get better as the year goes along. In the game we watched against EE Smith HS, he led his team to a win and finished with 18 Points, 12 Rebounds, 3 Assist and 2 Steals.
- Damani has become a versatile player which he has put on full display this season, not only can he step out and knock down the trey ball and midrange jump shot with high consistency but he also has the ability to play with his back to the basket as well as face up to the basket when hes in the post or short corner. He has a very soft touch around the basket and does not take unneccessary dribbles when making a move from the high post, his footwork on the offensive end is solid and you don’t see him getting called for traveling violations too often. His ballhandling ability is solid for a player his height and he has played some Point Forward for his squad this season, bringing the ball up the court and getting his squad into an offensive set.
- His height and wingspan is definitely a positive on the defensive side of the ball, it allows him to make deflections easily as well as grabbing defensive rebounds at a high rate, Damani understands positioning and boxes out well so that even if a player is stronger than him he can still set himself up well to secure the rebound.
- In our opinion the ceiling on Damani’s potential as a player is very high, this is only his second year of playing varsity basketball and he has already took on more of a team leadership role this season, we truly believe that his ability to be coached and work ethic is something that coaches at the college level will love.
Areas for Improvement
- At this point he has a very slender frame , even though he does spend time in the weightroom he will still need to add some more weight & muscle to be able to be fully comfortable playing inside at the college level. We honestly don’t see him having to much of an issue with this as he is a very hard working young man , in our eyes its not a matter of if he will gain the muscle and weight but when.
- As stated earlier he is very versatile on the offensive end , however he will need to improve his lateral quickness on the defensive end so he can have the ability to guard some shorter, quicker players at the next level. With that being said he does a good job of closing out on wings but we would love to see him improve with his lateral quickness so that he could become a lock down defender against even more positions on the floor
- Free Throw shooting is one aspect of his game that we would love to see him improve, he doesn’t shoot it great from the line at this point, he not a terrible free throw shooter by any means but he could become more consistent.