Jalen Lecque Interview

Mon, 05/29/2017 - 12:00pm

It's always fun to attend prep events and look to find a diamond in the rough. This weekend I got the chance to attend the Nike EYBL in Thousand Oaks and while the event had a number of future standouts like Marvin Bagley and Manute Bol's son Bol Bol, who both have a chance to be special talents in the league, there was a virtual unknown that caught my eye.

6-foot-4 combo guard Jalen Lecque is an explosive rising junior from the Bronx who played the (four event) EYBL circuit with the Southern Stampede. He was the only junior playing on the team and averaged 17 ppg, 1.2 assists, 47% from the floor and (11/36) 30% from three, over the 16 games of EYBL. He attacks the rim relentlessly and gets a lot of highlight reel dunks. His shot still needs some work but shows decent form and potential. Obviously he has a long ways to go to become in the same stratosphere physically, skillwise and in a competitive sense, but he's actually a lot further along at the same age and shows some similar attributes as the young Russell Westbrook that caught my eye as a freshman at UCLA.

Jalen LecqueJalen LecqueJerry Meyer of 247sports.com told me he thinks the kid is a pro, and I completely agree. While he still has a great deal of work to do on his game, the foundation is there. Some pundits have compared his game to Collin Sexton who played for the same AAU team a year ago, and made a rapid ascent up rankings to the point that he's now considered a potential one-and-done top 10 pick. While Lecque is virtually an unknown nationally right now, look for him to move up recruiting rankings quickly as he shows a lot of promise as an athletic combo guard.

NBADraft.net: This is your first year on Stampede, right?

Jalen Lecque: Yeah

NBADraft.net: How does that come about? You live in New York, you have two (NY) teams trying to get you, and you decided you wanted to play with the Stampede?

Jalen Lecque: I’m playing with the Stampede because there were more people playing for New York Lightning so I had to play with Stampede so I could get more opportunites to show my skills.

NBADraft.net: This coming year you are transferring to a team in North Carolina, The Christ School, and what position do you see yourself there?

Jalen Lecque: I see myself more as like a combo running the point. I usually play the one but they have the guards so I don’t need to, and I can score the ball as well.

NBADraft.net:
Who are some of the guys you look up to, maybe in the league that you try to pattern yourself after?

Jalen Lecque: Yesterday I saw Russell Westbrook. And that's who I want to be like.

NBADraft.net: I actually see him in your game. I definitely see the resemblance.

Jalen Lecque: He couldn’t take pictures though. I wanted to take a picture [with him].

NBADraft.net: At what point did you realize basketball could be your future profession?

Jalen Lecque:
When I got into my eighth-grade year, I was always playing up and I was always athletic and stuff like that but I didn’t really have the right skills, and as soon as I got in my eighth-grade year I knew I could really play.

NBADraft.net: When was the first year you could dunk a basketball?

Jalen Lecque: About like ninth-grade.

NBADraft.net: Can you talk a little bit about this experience, you guys are struggling a little bit as a team, it’s kind of up in the air for Peach Jam. What do you take out of this event?

Jalen Lecque:
This is a great event. The best event in the whole world. EYBL, you can’t get any better than that. I’m just happy to show that I can play with the best of the best.

NBADraft.net: What have you heard as far as Nike Skills Academy?

Jalen Lecque: I didn’t get invited to that yet but I hope I do because that’s a great achievement.

NBADraft.net: I don’t think anyone’s been invited yet because they don’t know if they’re going to even have it this year yet.....Do you see yourself as a point guard eventually?

Jalen Lecque: It’s whatever they want me to play because I think I’m big enough to play the two-guard and I’m also a big guard to be a point guard. I would rather play the point guard.

NBADraft.net: How tall are you and do you know what your wingspan is?

Jalen Lecque: I'm 6'4 and my wingspan is 6’8.

NBADraft.net: Are you still growing?

Jalen Lecque: Yeah of course. I’m only 16 still, I turn 17 in two weeks.

NBADraft.net:
Have you grown much in the last year?

Jalen Lecque: Yeah, when I was in the ninth-grade, I was 5’8 and my sophomore year I grew to around 6’0.

NBADraft.net: What do you consider the strengths of your game and what do you need to work on?

Jalen Lecque: I'm athletic and I get to the rim, plus I've got a lot of versatility. I need to work on my point guard skills, defense and my shooting.

NBADraft.net: What do you think of the one and done rule?

Jalen Lecque: I believe there should be a one and done rule because I don’t believe some people should stay in college if they don’t need to. Some people play basketball their whole life and they look forward to go to the NBA.

NBADraft.net: What about a none and done where you could just go straight out of high school?

Jalen Lecque: You should be able to but a person should have to be so dominant…

NBADraft.net: If they could be a lottery pick or something like that? Perhaps have a panel vote on a player or two that would be allowed to bypass the process?

Jalen Lecque: Yeah. If they’re a round one lottery pick, if not go to college.

NBADraft.net: Do you have any other sports you play?

Jalen Lecque: Football but my mom doesn’t want me to play it. I played it one year and I’m actually better at football than basketball.

NBADraft.net: What position?

Jalen Lecque: I played wide receiver and a second-string quarterback.

NBADraft.net: So you could be a receiver right now but your mom wouldn’t let you?

Jalen Lecque: Yeah, she didn’t really want me to play. She didn’t like me getting hit a lot. She’s protective of me.

NBADraft.net: Your Mom is looking out for you...What about colleges? I’m sure teams are hitting you up. Do you have schools that you like? What kind of style do you want?

Jalen Lecque: I’ve been talking to Georgia Tech, St. John’s, Florida, Tennessee, a lot of other schools. I like Kansas State.

NBADraft.net: Do you have a team that you root for like when the tournament’s going on?

Jalen Lecque: Honestly I like Syracuse, that's my dream school. But obviously, they didn’t get that far.

NBADraft.net: You know (Coach) Boeheim’s here (watching his son play)?

Jalen Lecque:
Oh, I didn’t even know that.

NBADraft.net:
Is that still a school you would consider?

Jalen Lecque: I like that school. I’m just trying to have the best schools recruit me.

NBADraft.net: What about NBA, any other players you like, aside from Russ?

Jalen Lecque:
I used to like KD but now…

NBADraft.net: You turned on him?

Jalen Lecque: Yeah I turned on him.

NBADraft.net: So you are rooting for Cleveland in the Finals?

Jalen Lecque: Yep.

NBADraft.net: Well you know, he didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Jalen Lecque: No it’s okay. I understand he’s trying to do what he’s got to do but I can’t go against Westbrook.

NBADraft.net:
That’s your guy huh?

Jalen Lecque: Yeah that’s my guy.

NBADraft.net: Did you get to say hi to him?

Jalen Lecque: I didn’t even get there. I tried to but he was gone.

NBADraft.net: I think you will get your chance someday.

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