Sierra Canyon Excessive College has emerged as one of the crucial acknowledged basketball colleges on the planet. Whereas it options a few of the nation’s high prospects and attracts celebrities to video games, the arduous work behind the scenes is what helps its prospects obtain success.
“What comes with it’s positively value it, however it’s not straightforward,” senior guard Ramel Lloyd Jr. instructed SLAM.
Whereas Sierra Canyon might look glamorous on social media and on tv, it’s a grind. As such, it’s a chance for gamers like Ramel Jr. to attain their goals of creating it to the NBA.
“Folks assume it’s candy right here, however we go arduous,” says Lloyd Jr. “We’ve received a very powerful teaching workers that’s very arduous. We’re held accountable at a really excessive stage. So I imply, it’s not straightforward to play.“
Taking part in for a highschool of this caliber brings further strain, however the alternative additionally prepares gamers for the brilliant lights.
“I’ve performed in entrance of all kinds of celebrities and crowds,” Lloyd Jr. says. “I imply, nothing at this level actually fazes me. Like my highschool expertise is perhaps even crazier when it comes to followers and simply how hectic it’s right here that it is perhaps in school.“
Lloyd Jr. and his teammates, together with Bronny James and Amari Bailey, who’s one of many high prospects within the nation, have showcased their excessive stage expertise at Staples Middle in Los Angeles, enjoying in entrance of superstars like LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook amongst others.
When requested about what second has stood out most so far in his highschool profession, the 6-foot-6 guard . finally landed on the recreation in opposition to LeBron’s alma mater, St. Vincent-St. Mary, again in December.
“There’s been a pair. Clearly LeBron, I’m an enormous fan. Drake was at a pair video games, which is fairly cool. I feel the one which received me although, was Floyd Mayweather. On the Staples Middle recreation, I simply had gotten a dunk. I used to be going by the bench and he checked out me and he stated one thing in regards to the dunk kinda laughing, interacting with me. It was a fairly surreal second and I didn’t even know he was sitting there till then. I used to be like whoa is that Floyd Mayweather?”
Making his strategy to Sierra Canyon took arduous work and proving he was able to enjoying at that stage. Lloyd Jr., who’s from California, began hooping when he was 4 years previous and was each mentored and coached by his father at an early age.
“I didn’t actually play some other sports activities rising up. I used to be all the time basketball,” Lloyd Jr. explains. “I grew up watching my pops on the finish of his skilled profession so so I used to be all the time sort of round it, in order that’s what I wished to do.”
His father, Ramel Lloyd Sr., spent his freshman season at Syracuse earlier than a wonderful three-year profession at Lengthy Seaside State, the place he averaged 17.4 factors earlier than enjoying professionally abroad for over a decade.
“Me and my dad, we’re tremendous shut,” Lloyd Jr. says. “So it was all the time straightforward for us to do it. He’s my finest buddy off the court docket, on the court docket—my coach, my dad, every thing in a single. We had our battles and fights, however he’s the explanation why I’m right here as we speak. He taught me every thing I do know in regards to the recreation. My complete recreation is him. You already know, he’s the primary particular person to coach me and every thing I do, I received from him.”
Rising up round a participant of his father’s caliber was each inspiring and a chance for him to discover ways to evolve his recreation. Though Lloyd Jr. was one of many tallest gamers on his groups rising up, his father knew he would ultimately be a guard on the highest stage.
“I used to be all the time fairly tall. However the factor was, I performed for my dad so regardless that he was tall—he’s like he’s solely about 6-foot-5 — he knew I wasn’t gonna be huge, like 6-foot-9 or 6-foot-10 after I was full grown,” he says. “So regardless that I used to be taller than all the youngsters, he would have me play the guard. He knew ultimately I’d flip right into a guard utterly.”
It’s all paid off, as Lloyd Jr. will head to Nebraska subsequent season to play for Fred Hoiberg and the Cornhuskers. Actually, it’s these guard abilities that Hoiberg will leverage all through Lloyd Jr.’s school profession.
“I had coaches recruiting me for all various things: level guard, taking pictures guard, combo guard, wing, no matter,” Lloyd Jr. says. “At Nebraska I’m going to play a whole lot of level guard. Coach Hoiberg loves how I learn the ground, my imaginative and prescient and simply kinda my circulate when it comes to the tempo so he actually desires to be on the ball rather a lot subsequent 12 months. In my view, I’m a combo guard. However the recreation goes in the direction of positionless basketball, so on the subsequent stage, I will be one by way of 4.”
Even earlier than he graduates highschool and heads to school, Lloyd Jr. nonetheless has targets he’s got down to obtain. Earlier than his time at Sierra Canyon involves an finish, he tell us that he’s working in the direction of serving to the group win each a state and nationwide championship.
For a participant of Lloyd Jr.’s caliber, the top aim is the NBA. He seems like Nebraska was the proper match to provide him the most effective likelihood of creating that aim a actuality.
“Nebraska had all the instruments and issues wanted for me to change into a professional. I felt like Coach Hoiberg and the workers could be huge on my improvement with all of the NBA expertise. I assumed they have been actually invested in me as a participant and as an individual and simply wished to see me be higher and get higher. Simply enjoying within the Massive Ten and having the ability to play immediately and simply have that have, I couldn’t actually cross it up.”
It’s been a breakout season for the longer term Cornhusker, as he’s helped lead the Trailblazers to a 19-2 file as of scripting this, together with ten-straight wins. After overcoming an harm that saved him sidelined over the summer season and into the preseason, Lloyd Lloyd Jr. has actually hit his stride of late—he received two separate match MVP awards and made a press release on the Iolani Basic in Hawaii, the place he had three 20-plus level video games to conclude the match.
“I really feel like I’ve all the time been right here,” he says. “I really feel prefer it was only a matter of time for me. To actually do it on the huge stage, the brilliant lights, you realize, you realize, simply getting right here. This previous summer season I struggled with accidents and a whole lot of issues that sideline me. So simply getting wholesome and and coming again now for my senior 12 months enjoying these huge video games, I simply was actually attempting to indicate that I’m who I really feel like I’m—one of many high guys within the nation. I’m wholesome and I’ve simply been doing my factor. So I’m gonna proceed to do this shifting ahead.”
Taking part in with and in opposition to premier competitors has certainly ready Ramel Lloyd Jr. for what’s to come back on the subsequent stage.
“It’s a must to play in opposition to the most effective to be the most effective, so simply always enjoying in opposition to high guys and guys with that very same potential is barely getting me higher.”
Picture Credit score: Anthony Gallo, Josh Ma and Getty Photos.