Posted On: 01/10/19 9:31 AM
In an area that’s full of as many athletes as the 757, there are some guys that stand out early in their careers and some guys that blossom a little later. Last year at Lake Taylor, they won a state championship behind three guys in Joe Bryant (Norfolk State), Dereon Seabron (Massanutten) and Jalen Jordan (Francis Marion) who had been working toward that goal since they all started as sophomores.
While they’re all gone, emerging from the pack this season is junior point guard Zyrail Mitchell, who’s stock is soaring after a good start to his junior year. He recently picked up an offer from Hampton University after a 27 point performance against Hampton High School in the Reebok Crossover Holiday Classic at the Hampton Coliseum.
It isn’t surprising that one of the local schools is the first one on him, as Mitchell has shown next level potential as a 6’2″ lead guard who can take over games in a number of ways. It’s something he’ll have to continue to show as the go-to guy for this new group.
“Last year we won the state championship, but we lost the whole group,” Mitchell said. “This year we’ve got a fresh group, I’m the leader of this group so I’ve got to keep pushing, working hard and keeping my guys dedicated.”
A natural leader, Mitchell has some of the qualities you look for in a next level point guard, but what’s intriguing is that he’s still somewhat raw and has a lot of room to grow. He’s able to turn the corner on pick-and-rolls and get in the lane at will, where he’s able to finish in the paint or find his shooters or bigs for easy baskets.
“I’m a good ball handler and creator, I need to continue to work on my jump shot and my free throws moving forward,” he said.
While shooting is a premium and something he needs to improve on, Mitchell understands this and has made a concerted effort to continue to work on that part of his game. He didn’t spend the summer playing on any circuits or anything, instead playing locally with Team Loaded 757 and working on his game everyday.
“I worked on my jumper all this summer, I was in the gym everyday, I took no days off,” he said. “I’ve got to keep working though, there’s a lot of stuff I need to work at.”
His work ethic and improvement are both things to take into consideration when projecting Mitchell to the next level. Coaches want a kid that they can work with and make better, and he feels like he has that it factor in him.
“I work hard to get where I want to be and I know I can be a point guard at the next level as I continue to work.”
Mitchell will definitely be one that college coaches and guys like myself need to continue to watch moving forward, because he’s set to take a big leap in recruitment throughout this season and the summer.