The city of Baltimore is loaded with talent. However, one of the city's best players, Jamel Artis, has left his hometown to pursue his basketball dreams.
A re-classified junior, the 6-foot-6 wing has made his way to Saxtons River (Vt.) Vermont Academy where he's trying to take his game to the next level.
"I'd say Jamel is as talented of a kid that nobody really knows about that there is," Vermont Academy head coach Jesse Bopp told Rivals.com. "He's not a highly publicized kid that people around the country really know about."
With terrific size for the wing, the three-star is a very versatile performer. He can handle, he can get to the rim and he's an above-average passer.
After spending earlier years in his career working for Billy Donovan at Florida and Shaka Smart at VCU before taking the job at Vermont Academy, Bopp had a chance to be around plenty of high level players and sees plenty of potential in Artis.
"For us he plays one through four," said Bopp. "He's unbelievable off the dribble and is the best passer I've seen outside of Nick Calathes in person in my years in basketball. "
So far, Artis has attracted the attention of several programs including Providence, Pittsburgh, Dayton and Florida. Yet to earn his first scholarship offer, there are areas where he can improve in order to draw offers.
"His conditioning needs to improve and his strength needs to improve," said Bopp. "Where he struggles is when he gets into the lane and has trouble trying to score at the rim and that's because of strength."
This summer, Artis will be back on the road with Baltimore Elite and he'll be looking to prove that he's worthy of not only high major attention, but offers.
"He's got some 'I want to make it' and some 'I want to go out and get a scholarship because I'm good enough to get one,' " said Bopp. "He's like, 'Coach I'm with you, I want to go out and win' and I think Jamel loves basketball. He's got to continue to love the game enough to work hard and go out and open doors for his future."
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