As the motor behind the Dwight Howard-train at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy in Atlanta, sophomore guard Javaris Crittenton has seen every part of the country this past season. The Warriors went to Los Angeles, Slam Dunk to the Beach in Delaware, the Prime Time Shootout in New Jersey and to South Carolina. But for Crittenton, only one trip really mattered - the drive to Macon for the state title. He got his wish.
Crittenton, the No. 15 player in the class of 2006, said he had been eyeing the hour drive south for the state crown all year long. Two weeks ago, he and his teammates won their first ever state title.
“The trip to Macon was the most important trip we took all year long,” Crittenton said. “It was bigger than any of the other places because we didn’t win down there last year and this trip was more about proving people wrong and that we did deserve to win everything.”
Now that he’s proved the doubters on the prep level, the 6-foot-4, 180 pound combo guard is looking forward to proving the same people wrong again this summer with the Atlanta Celtics.
“I am looking so forward to this summer,” Crittenton said. “People will say, ‘The Celtics ain’t nothing now that the big three are gone,’ but me and Brandon (Rush) are ready to prove that we are just as tough.”
The five-star guard has played with the big boys since last summer and because of that, he’s already garnered a lot of college attention.
Crittenton, who at the start of the season told RivalsHoops that UNC and Louisville were his favorites, is now looking at a new crop of schools. Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Wake Forest are his new suitors. To his coach Courtney Brooks, it’s no surprise why the high majors are looking at the young guard.
“He has a world of talent in the game of basketball. His mental maturation has just really come along,” Brooks said. “Javaris just takes command of the team. His shot selection, his decisions, his passes, his energy, everything about his game just matured. If we needed him to score or pass or defend, he’d do it. Mentally, he’s just so much better.”
With Howard absent from next year’s roster, Brooks sees a slight change in the team’s offense. Crittenton will become one of the major focal points next season.
“At college, he’ll be a combo guard which helps because we’ll have more demands on him next year in scoring minus the big fella,” Brooks said. “Without Dwight, we’ll be more guard oriented team and Javaris will be a big part of it.”
Crittenton averaged 15 points, eight assists and five rebounds for the state champs and was recently named as a second-team all-state performer.