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Posted On: 01/15/18 12:25 PM
Damani McEntire- 6’3 G
Deer Park High School- Class of 2018
Prep Hoops Rank: 60th (Prep Hoops Indiana)
2017-18 Averages: 20.3ppg, 7.3rpg, 4.8apg, 5.1spg
Floor/Ceiling: LM/MM D-I
Deer Park senior guard Damani McEntire came to Cincinnati with some lofty expectations for himself and his Wildcat teammates. “My main expectations for the season are to lead my team to a state title and improve on my game,” McEntire stated. And if you have seen the Oak Hills Academy by way of Decatur Central (IN) transfer and his Deer Park teammates play, a trip to Columbus is a possibility. Damani attributes a lot of this season’s success, both individually and as a team, to veteran Cincinnati area coach Steve Gentry Sr.
“Coach just goes out and lets us play,” he stated. “We also have a lot of different scoring options. Somebody is always picking up for there teammates. Our bench has been big as well, and we are deeper than most teams. We have 5 or 6 players that can score in double-figures.” And it is because of this diversity in their offensive game plan and roster that Mr. McEntire has excelled so much.
The first thing that you will love about Damani game is that he competes hard on both ends of the floor. The former football standout has the strength and athletic ability to guard players at the 1-3 positions. His long arms also help him get into passing lanes which usually results into transition opportunities for him and his teammates. On the offensive end McEntire is at his best in transition and in the mid-range area. He can finish over and around defenders at the rim while also being a crafty ball-handler which allows him to get to his spots and use a variety of pull-up jumpers and floaters in the lane. When you combine his assets, Damani is one of the better players in Cincinnati, and possibly the state of Ohio.
When I asked about what improvements he has seen in his game since coming to Cincinnati, he answered centered the next level. “I feel that I have improved from a leadership stand point,” McEntire stated. “At the next level I will probably have to play point guard, so being more vocal and leadership is where I have improved the most.”
On the academic front Damani right now is sporting a 2.9 GPA and scored an 890 on his first attempt at the SAT. He has plans on re-taking both test in February. As for next level interest, “Right now I have an offer from Navy,” McEntire stated. “I also have some interest from Pitt as well. And Xavier and Cincinnati are supposed to come see me play as well.”
It may behoove other low to mid-major programs to make their presence known with this young man as well.