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Posted On: 02/6/18 12:33 PM
There aren’t many players in the state of Virginia who just come out of nowhere for me, most of them I hear about as kids to watch or see on social media. In the case of Carlisle senior BJ Fitzgerald, it was the latter. Over the summer, I saw tweets about this 6’5” guard out of Carlisle who was dominating tournaments and coaches were starting to see.
However, it still felt like it came out of nowhere. When I asked Fitzgerald about it in the beginning of January, he gave most of the credit to his school, which he transferred to last season.
“Ever since I came to Carlisle and I started playing against top competition, I held up my own and put up big numbers,” Fitzgerald said. “Against all the top prospects that we played against, I came out and did well, but as a team we didn’t do as well as we thought we should, we went 6-15, but this year we’ve learned and really improved.”
“I built off my success from last year and it all continued through the AAU circuit,” he said about about his stock rising. “More and more coaches started calling me and knowing my name more from my performances at Phenom Hoops and HoopSeen and things like that.”
When I saw him at the Chance Harman Classic in January, I saw that all of the things I heard about him were legitimate. The 6’5” guard showed his entire skill set, that he can score it from all three levels, is a big time athlete and he can play on and off the basketball. It was no wonder that he picked up offers from Radford and Lincoln Memorial, the current #1 ranked division two school in the country, and says that he’s been hearing lately from Bryant, USC Upstate, Presbyterian College, UNCG and a lot of division one JUCOs as well.
When asked how he would describe his game, Fitzgerald said something that shocked me a little bit.
“My scoring and passing is what stands out, but I’ve been working a lot on my defense lately. I feel if I become a lock down defender all four quarters I’ll become a much more complete player.”
His dedication to improving on the defensive end and becoming a more complete player seems based off of his desire to compete and love of winning. When asked why college coaches should recruit him, that’s what he stressed.
“I love to win, and I’m going to come out with energy and that dog in me every game to help us win. Whether that’s rebounding, scoring or whatever it takes I’m going to do my best to help us win.”
The Martinsville native is still somewhat under the radar, but he’s showing out in big games and showing everyone that it’s time to stop sleeping on him because he can play with the best of them.