November 29, 2022

MASSIVE HOOP DREAMS

AIMING HIGH — Now a 14-year-old competitive student athlete who boasts lofty aspirations of playing basketball at the collegiate level someday, Jymere Lee assumes the point guard position for Mount Olive Middle School in North Carolina.

DALLAS — Gramps knows best.

As far as his fervent progress on the amateur basketball circuit goes, Jymere Lee is forever grateful to the hands-on guidance rendered by this grandfather, LoWayne McCullen.
Suitably known as “pa-pa,” by Lee’s standards, McCullen spent a considerable amount of time at his home playing pickup games with his grandson.
So much, in fact, that Lee, by all accounts, has adopted a keen passion for the game, given the immeasurable strides he’s made since “pa-pa” and his family witnessed him dribble a ball for the first time at the tender age of four.
Now a 14-year-old competitive student athlete who boasts lofty aspirations of playing basketball at the collegiate level someday, Lee assumes the point guard position for Mount Olive Middle School in North Carolina.
Currently a 5-foot-7 eighth grader who has been actively involved in competitive hoops for the past eight years, Lee and his family are devising ways to help him acquire more exposure, particularly as he prepares to transition to high school.
MOM KNOWS BEST, TOO — “The sky’s the limit for Jymere because he genuinely loves the game of basketball,” Arerial Peele says without hesitation of hers son’s constant progression on the amateur hoops circuit. “He’s coachable and he studies the game. I think this is why there’s no limit as to how far Jymere can go with basketball.”

According to Nicole Peele, Lee’s aunt and of his closest family members, her nephew plans to spend the summer months in the Houston area which, as far as he’s concerned, could prove beneficial with regards to engaging in more competitive play in a much larger market.

“I didn’t attend any camps. There aren’t camps around here,” Lee, during an interview this week with Making Headline News, said of a rural Mount Olive town that is comprised of roughly 4,589 residents, according to the latest U. S. census. “I’m going to Houston, Texas this summer to stay with my aunt and attend basketball camp. My hope in going to Houston is to learn different skills and techniques to help me become an even better player.”

Lee also credits his coaches, Jamie Garner and Gary Pigford, for helping him broaden his mechanics as one of team’s marquee players.

“(Coach Garner and Coach Pigford) are great coaches,” Lee said. “They challenged me this year. I became a better player because of them.”

Looking head, Lee doesn’t shy away from the notion that his primary focus is centered largely on improving his overall game in what figures to be a busy and more challenging offseason in the Lone Star State, where word is that they do things big here.


TEXAS BOUND

LONE STAR STAGE — According to Nicole Peele, Lee’s aunt and of his closest family members, her nephew plans to spend the summer months in the Houston area which, as far as he’s concerned, could prove beneficial with regards to engaging in more competitive play in a much larger market.

Amongst those who have monitored — and thoroughly embraced — Lee’s masterful progress on the court in recent years is his mother, Arerial Peele.

“I’m nervous,” said Arerial Peele, referring her son’s frequent game day performances. “I can’t believe how much he’s grown physically and how much he’s grown into an awesome player. I’m thankful because Jymere is so blessed, and his talent on the court is a natural God-given talent. When I’m watching him play, I’m a proud mom.”

Interestingly enough, Lee stresses, among other things, that because he’s destined to attract the attention of college scouts and recruiters much sooner than later, now is not the time to become satisfied with his progress. If nothing else, he said, now is the time to enhance what he deems an athletic scholarship audition, of sorts, one that’s essentially is in its infancy stages — to put it more precisely.


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THINKIN’ OF A MASTER PLAN — Currently a 5-foot-7 eighth grader who has been actively involved in competitive hoops for the past eight years, Lee (right) and his family are devising ways to help him acquire more exposure, particularly as he prepares to transition to high school.

“I work out four-to-five times a week,” Lee said. “(I’m good at) finishing and putting the ball in the basket. That’s my biggest strength.”

As for his biggest weakness that needs to be addressed during the course of the summer months, Lee contends he needs to become a better ballhandler with his left hand.

“My goal is to work more with my left hand and also my vision, keeping my eyes on the other players,” Lee said. “The last thing is shooting (from outside) a little bit (better).”

Now faced with a golden opportunity to make good on his dream of playing at the collegiate level in the coming years, Lee doesn’t merely take lightly the life lessons instilled in him while engaging in pickup games with his “pa-pa.”


“When I started playing basketball when I was younger, I felt like I had a gift, so I kept at it and I love the game,” Lee said.


TAKING HIS SHOW ON THE ROAD — “I didn’t attend any camps. There aren’t camps around here,” Lee, during an interview this week with Making Headline News, said of a rural Mount Olive town that is comprised of roughly 4,589 residents, according to the latest U. S. census. “I’m going to Houston, Texas this summer to stay with my aunt and attend basketball camp. My hope in going to Houston is to learn different skills and techniques to help me become an even better player.”

Much to his delight, Lee’s mother essentially echoed a similar sentiment.

“The sky’s the limit for Jymere because he genuinely loves the game of basketball,” Arerial Peele says without hesitation. “He’s coachable and he studies the game. I think this is why there’s no limit as to how far Jymere can go with basketball.”

Thanks in large part to an assist, courtesy of “pa-pa” approximately a decade ago.

That, after all, is a true testament that gramps undoubtedly knows best.


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Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to makingheadlinenews@gmail.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist or Instagram at @makingheadlinenews.