The Pressure of Being No. 1

As the No. 1 player in the class of 2005, Tasmin Mitchell has had to play under a great amount of scrutiny during the AAU circuit. It has not always been easy for the 6-foot-7, 220-pound small forward from Denham Springs, La. Friday at the Youth Development Festival, Mitchell spoke to about the pressure of being No. 1.
“It really is a lot of pressure,” said Mitchell. “People expect so much. Sometimes I would rather not be number one, but I am glad to be number one if that is what I am.
“There is no way I can live up to the expectations that a player like LeBron James has created. He is a child in a man’s body. All I can do is try to do the little things and help my team win.”
Help his team win is exactly what Mitchell has done so far at the Youth Development Festival. The South is 2-0, and Mitchell has produced very solid stat lines, contributing in every area. In the days second game, he led the South in scoring with 24 points on 9 of 11 shooting from the field, 1 of 2 from the arc, and 5 of 7 from the line.
“I do feel like I am shooting the ball well,” he said before the second game. “In college I will play the three, so I have been working on my shot and dribbling. I like to play team ball and don’t take a lot of shots, but when I do shoot, it usually goes in.”
Where he will play the small forward position in college might not be known until next spring.
“It is down to Kentucky and LSU right now,” he said. “Both have offered, but I am not going to make a decision until the end of my high school season. I want to see what my options are. I might be open to another school. You never know.”
One thing Mitchell is not concerned about is whether or not he stays No. 1.
“It is not going to affect me if I am not No. 1. I am just going to keep working hard.”