Q&A: With Highly Touted Guard Lamont “MoMo” Jones
Total Pro Sports – When you think of point guards, you think Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, Chauncey Billups. In college, it was Ty Lawson.
Now entering college at USC is Lamont “Mo Mo” Jones, a highly touted recruit from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. Originally from Harlem, NY, Jones was the #21 point guard on the ESPNU Recruiting page. Jones recently played in the Jordan Brand Classic as a National All-American, and I got a chance to meet with him and ask him a couple of questions.
Interview with Lamont Jones: Highly Touted Recruit Attending USC in the fall.
Q: What do you expect from your future?
A: Nothing but greatness. Being from Harlem, I have been in mostly the worst situations anyone can be in. Since I was in the worst in the past, things can only get better and my future can only get brighter.
Q: You are in such a big spotlight here at the Jordan Brand Classic; do you feel any added pressure?
A: I feel absolutely no pressure from the spotlight here at the Jordan Brand Classic. I feel that I deserve to be here. I have worked hard since day one, and it is finally paying off. Being here is very rewarding, but the pressure and nerves that others feel I don’t feel.
Q: Obviously you’re a hard worker, otherwise you wouldn’t be here playing in this prestigious event, but you aren’t nervous to be playing tomorrow on the biggest stage in the basketball world?
A: Being from Harlem, this is home; I’m home. I feel excited and anxious more than anything. I’m ready to show my hometown what I have worked for the past years at Oak Hill, and ready to show New York City the real Lamont Jones.
Q: Back to your future. We already went over what you expect from your future, but now I want to ask about in concretely. NBA thoughts in your mind? Think you can make it?
A: Obviously every little kid that plays basketball has the dream of being in the NBA in the back of his mind, but I’m not thinking about the NBA right now, let alone not even thinking about college right now. I have one game left in my high school career, and I want to focus on that and play it to the best of my ability. While I believe the NBA is very possible, it’s not in my head right now.
Q: Give me one thing that has motivated you throughout this whole process.
A: One statement has been told to me, and it is a statement I tell many reporters; the ball is in my court. I have worked hard to get here, and now it is in my hands to do what I can with what I have and make the best of all the situations and opportunities that are going to come my way.
Q: Tomorrow you and your Jordan Brand All-American teammates will get national exposure on ESPN2. You have already been on ESPN for the RISE National HS Invitational, where your Oak Hill Academy made it to the final. How do you feel that exposure was for you, and how do you feel you performed?
A: I feel that the tournament was almost like my coming out party. Everyone got to see Lamont Jones. I played great; I couldn’t have played the tournament any better. Findlay Prep just outplayed us, and I give props to Avery (Bradley) and the team for winning the title. That exposure was great though, because everyone got to see that Lamont Jones is one of the best guards in the country.
Q: You just said you are one of the best guards in the country. You are definitely a great guard in this recruiting class of 2009, but what makes you stick out over any other guard here?
A: My confidence. I always have the “you can’t guard me” mentality. I always believe that I can do any move on anybody, guard anybody, score on anybody, and do whatever it takes to win a game. If I’m needed to take over, I will step up to the challenge with great determination and confidence.
Q: You have yet to commit to a college, but have uncommitted twice (Louisville junior year, Virginia Tech in March). What is the recruiting process to you?
A: It really is nothing more than a process to me. I play my game and I do what I have to do. The scouts and coaches come and talk to me if they want me to play for them. No matter what happens during this process, I’m still going to play the same way.
Q: What is the reason for the two uncommits?
A: It was mostly a family decision. We decided as a family that Louisville and Virginia Tech were not the best options for me. I have spoken to other schools and we felt that some of the other schools that want me may fit myself as a whole much better.
Q: Some players want a certain coach, some want prestige and name; what impacts your decision on picking a school?
A: I want to be able to make a big impact right away. Obviously everyone’s dream is to make the NBA, so I also want a team that can give me that opportunity. And lastly, I am looking for a team that fits my style, a team looking for a leader and a floor general to run the team. I want to have a great NCAA career, so I need to find my best fit.
(NOTE: This interview was conducted at the Jordan Brand Classic on Friday, April 17th, 2009 and Saturday, April 18th, 2009. On April 19th, Lamont Jones signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of Southern California (USC)).