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Posted On: 05/18/18 5:03 AM
DES MOINES — Japannah Kellogg is keeping plenty busy this spring.
Between playing on the grassroots circuit with D1 Minnesota and taking second in the high jump at the Iowa state track and field meet, the Ames junior has a lot going on.
“High jump helps a lot jumping off one foot,” Kellogg said. “It helps my dunking, and dunking helps my high jump.”
That help has been on display as he’s moved grassroots squads, from All Iowa Attack to D1, which boasts one of the most talented and deepest rosters in the country.
“It’s different than what I’ve been a part of on my old team,” Kellogg said. “We weren’t as fortunate with the type of talent we have on our team. It gives us an opportunity to work as a team and work work on our individual skills throughout the game.”
It also means a change of roles for Kellogg, who has gone from focal point to supporting cast.
“I’ve always been one of the top players on my team,” he said, “so me playing with top-ranked people like Patrick (McCaffery) and Matthew (Hurt) and Tyrell (Terry), it gets me to have to work for minutes and not take for granted my minutes and take more advantage of the touches I get.
“I feel like I’ve recently tried to start showing my hustle more where when I’m not doing so well on the offensive end, I try to pick up the intensity on the defensive end and the small things. When I start doing well on offense, it all comes together.”
Kellogg, who averaged 12.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for the Little Cyclones last year, has recently heard from Miami (Ohio), Presbyterian and UMKC.
“I anticipate it’ll kick up in July,” Ames coach Vance Downs said, “and probably have a lot of visitors in the fall during open gyms.”
Coaches will have a chance to see Kellogg playing a different sort of game with D1.
“I think it helps a lot because I feel like personally I know I can score pretty well,” he said, “so me having to work on these little things will help my game overall.”
Japannah Kellogg is ranked by Prep Hoops as a top 15 prospect in his class. To see the full ranking of Iowa’s 2019 class, click here.