SHAWNEE – Playing against tougher competitive is generally always beneficial for players in the long run.
Shawnee Heights sophomore 6-foot-2 forward Poncho Freeman enjoyed playing against older players throughout the summer with Top City 16U team.
“It’s better, more competition, and the older guys are stronger,” Freeman said.
Freeman was the only 2017 prospect on the Top City 16U team that featured Harold Emanuel, DaiShoun Fox, Malik Keith, and Dante Kahre for most of the summer.
Freeman provided a spark off the bench in the Sunflower Showcase leading the team in scoring and rebounding in their third game with six points and five rebounds.
“I’ve been getting stronger,” Freeman said. “I’ve been in the weight room. Now I’m just working on my finishing.”
Throughout the tournament, Freeman proved to be a very capable rebounder.
“I think I should get every loose ball because I think I’m fast enough to get to it and I want it the most,” Freeman said. “It’s helping me a lot (playing against older players). I have to box out a lot more and not go up for rebounds with one hand, you’ve got to go up with two hands and be more fundamental.”
Last season, Freeman played on the freshman team.
“It went OK,” he said. “I didn’t shoot too well. I need to work on my shooting and ballhandling.”
This year, Freeman is eyeing a role on the varsity squad.
“I want to get good minutes on varsity and just help out the team try to go to state,” Freeman said.
Shawnee Heights is led by senior point guard Tez Scroggins, who is the top 2015 player in Topeka.
“He’s a good leader so we should go pretty far,” Freeman said. “I think he can have a breakout season. He’s underrated and should be recruited by a lot more people. He’s quick and crosses up everybody.”