Posted On: 09/13/18 8:44 AM

JoJo Nunez enters his senior season at Doral Academy as an unquestioned leader and a guy who can leave his fingerprints all over the stat sheet. Nunez has been able to significantly impact each game on the defensive end, routinely handling the task of neutralizing the opponent’s most perilous scoring threat.

This may not be a challenge for everyone, especially given Nunez’ multiple roles out on the floor. This summer on Florida Gold Coast, the 5-foot-10 Nunez was able to cause all types of disruption.

His thorough on-ball pressure enabled him to pickpocket guards and consistently disrupt the offensive flow for opponents. He was able to smother high-scoring threats, eliciting countless forced shots and completely eliminating those regularly good looks at the basket.

By devoting himself to the role of stopper, Nunez did his due diligence. He scouted his future matchups, taking note of their strengths and reciting their weaknesses. Analyzing and dissecting the style of other players was instrumental in cultivating a heady on-ball pest within him.

“JoJo was the biggest X-factor,” explained Florida Gold Coast coach Steven Lopez, whose program also featured Luis Pacheco, Gary Bess, Jordan Hernandez, Cameron Payne and myriad other high-profile Miami area talent.

“He guarded the opposing best players and was our glue guy.”

We caught up with the multi-sport athlete, gaining his outlook heading into a much-anticipated senior season.

PH: As the quintessential elder statesmen and a guy who brings a great deal of battle-tested experience, how would you describe your role on this year’s Doral team?

JN: Entering my senior year, my role will consist heavily on being a leader. My main goals are to lead the new or younger guys and help them get a feel and understanding of our system and the way we work. A true leader not only works the hardest and the smartest, but leads by example. That is what is expected here.

PH: Given all the success you guys attained last season and given the personnel you guys have returning in 2018-19, how would you assess the goals and aspirations of this team?

JN: The ultimate team goal is to return to Lakeland and win back to back state titles.

PH: How would you describe the style of play enforced at Doral. What would you describe as the key, bedrock tenets of this program?

JN: The style Doral basketball has come accustomed to is not the most flashy or necessarily highlight reel style. Playing the game the right way, with grit and selflessness is what makes Doral basketball its own.

Photo credit: News Chief