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Posted On: 11/5/17 3:38 PM
Alijah Long is another one of the returning players from last year’s State Championship run. His role will significantly change this year but he brings experience and energy to the guard position for the Legends. Long played with Lock Down Elite this past AAU season and is looking to help North Side return to State in his senior season.
Alijah saw his role fluctuate in terms of what the team needed from him last year. He started some games and came off the bench in others. He was one of the more consistent shooters from deep and he brought an edge to the defensive end of the floor. Long embodies the North Side toughness that Head Coach Khaliq wants his team to have.
“Workouts have been very good. I most definitely feel this team is ready. We are ready to knock down every team that steps in front of us.”
North Side added a few pieces in the offseason from transfers that will help them throughout the season. “Dealing with the addition of Austin (Boucher) and Lucas (Kroft) is different. They are both very talented and cool guys who I look forward to building a bond with like I have with the guy from the previous years.” Austin Boucher is returning to the Fort Wayne area after spending a year in Maryland and Lucas Kroft is a transfer from Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian.
“I want to lead my teammates and be there to teach the underclassmen what I’ve seen and learned from previous players.” Long has played with some great talent throughout his high school career which has helped shape him into the player he is. He’s ready to pass that on to the new additions and underclassmen to build the program.
As Long’s role with this team has expanded, he’s preparing himself to be a complete guard and leader for the Legends. “I’ve been working on my physicality, going to the basket more. I feel like I will have the ball in my hands sometimes, even at critical points in the game.” Alijah will be one of the primary ball handlers this year and will be called on in late situations to make plays.
Alijah is known for his ability to stretch the floor but looks confident attacking the basket. He got into the lane consistently this summer and made plays. He is tough to contain off the dribble and has been working on his decision making for when he faces the secondary defender. This season, he will have weapons all around him that can stretch the floor and get to the basket.
“Our team goal is to win the Holiday Tournament, win the SAC, and State Champions.” North Side has plenty of firepower to achieve those goals. Long is doing what he can to build a strong chemistry amongst his teammates to prepare for a late postseason run.
Look for Long and the Legends to make some noise this season out of Fort Wayne. He has put in the work in the offseason to step up into his expanded role and looks poised for a breakout year.