football

Okafor not feeling the pressure of his No. 1 ranking

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Everybody who plays the game wants to be considered the best.
So far, Jahlil Okafor likes being on top in the class of 2014.
The junior center at Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young has already been in the spotlight for a while. It's shining on him a little brighter since he was moved up to the No. 1 spot in 2014, but it doesn't have much of an impact on Okafor.
"It's not new to me really," Okafor told Rivals.com. "With stuff like AAU ball playing with the Mac Irvin Fire with guys like Jabari Parker on my team I've had lots of people watching.
"It doesn't really change me."
Okafor lists his height at 6-foot-11 and if he's not quite that big, he's close enough. In addition to his height, Okafor has good length, is strong and runs the court pretty well.
What he does most of all, though, is dominate with his back to the basket. There aren't many true back to the basket guys and Okafor knows that he's at the advantage when he catches the ball on the low block.
"It's just hours in the gym and coming out there and knowing that I've got an advantage down in the post," said Okafor. "I like watching guys like Tim Duncan and Shaq who know how to play down there."
With offers from Arizona, Duke, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, Ohio State and others already on the table,
Okafor could end things now if he wanted to. Instead, he's more focused on his game and getting into the best shape possible.
"It's been tough and hard work," Okafor said. "I've been doing a lot of running. The more conditioned I am the easier things come for me down in the post."
Okafor says that he's still wide open in his decision-making process and not in any rush. When he does make a decision, though, he says there is plenty of validity to the idea that he and five-star point guard Tyus Jones are interested in teaming up in college like they did the past few summers for USA Basketball.
"That's something that I really want to do," said Okafor. "It's more than basketball with Tyus.
"We have been really successful on the court, but I mean he's like a brother to me. It would be great to be able to experience college together if it works out."
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