Posted On: 11/2/18 12:00 PM

Neuqua Valley small forward John Poulakidas is one of the top 2021 prospects in the state.  He has outstanding size for position along with a big time skill set.  The 6’5” small forward has long arms and an angular build.  Looks like he has room to grow.  Poulakidas is in the process of adding strength onto his frame.  He is a big time perimeter sniper with his catch and shoot shot along with just pulling up in transition.  The athleticism is starting to show more.  Can block a shot on occasion and is becoming more assertive on the offensive glass.  Puts it on the deck and overall has a sound feel for the game.

Poulakidas sat out the July evaluation period with an injury and is excited to get back on the court this fall.

“It has been pretty well.  Getting my feet back under me.  Had the time in the summer to get stronger putting on about 20 pounds.  I can tell that has made a huge difference on the court adding that to my shot.  I have been working on my ball handling.”

At camps like the Spartz Fall Showcase and Pangos what is he trying to show?

“I am trying to show people I am more than just a spot up shooter.  Up until about 8th grade I was known as the guy that can knock down catch and shoot threes.  I am trying to shot people I can expand my game taking people off the dribble and pulling up.  Post up.”

Neuqua Valley has a strong core of sophomores that will lead the way.

“It is me, Connor Davis, and Max Rivera.  It will be all about experience for the new guys this year.  Learning and playing against bigger guys.  We have a couple returning players other than myself.  The season should go much better than last year, but in the next two years we will be really good.”

What does he see his role being on the team?

“I am going to take it upon myself to lead the team.  Get other guys going.  If my shot isn’t going get other guys involved because I am not the only player on the team.  I have to take the initiative to get other guys involved.”

Poulakidas updated us on his early recruitment.

“Michigan came to one of my open gyms.  Me and Kimahri (Wilson) went on an unofficial visit to Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  We could tell they are fairly interested.  I got off the phone last week with an assistant from Miami (OH).  They want to come check me out this year.”

How was that UW-Milwaukee visit?

“It was really interesting how everyone is right there.  You don’t think of Milwaukee as such a nice city, but when you go there it is really beautiful.  The team has a pretty good schedule so going there wouldn’t be that bad.”

Two programs have already extended scholarship offers.

“I have offers from UIC and SIU.  With SIU I like the coaching staff.  They are good guys.  With UIC coach Dee Brown is a really good guy.  He played at Illinois so he obviously knows what he is talking about.  Getting a chance to talk to him is really neat.”