Elite freshman Juwan Gary shuns the hype, embraces the hard work

Elite freshman Juwan Gary shuns the hype, embraces the hard work

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Elite freshman Juwan Gary shuns the hype, embraces the hard work

Freshman wing Juwan Gary doesn't feed into his own hype. (Photo: Phenom Hoop Report)

Freshman wing Juwan Gary doesn’t feed into his own hype. (Photo: Phenom Hoop Report)

LEWISVILLE, N.C. – Even as a freshman, Gray Collegiate Academy (Columbia, S.C.) star Juwan Gary knows all about the ills of peaking too soon and overexposure for young hoopers; that’s why, despite the fact that he’s steadily gaining the coveted “next big thing” buzz, the 6-foot-6 wing has adopted a workman’s mentality on the hardwood.

That paid off Saturday when he dropped 17 points to lead Gray Collegiate past Bishop Sullivan (Virginia Beach, Va.) 82-39 at the Phenom Hoop Showcase.

“I hear about it, but I don’t think about any of that stuff when I’m playing,” Gary said of the hype. “That’s just people’s opinion. I have too much to work on, like my handles and my jump shot, so I have to focus on getting better.”

Gary starred this summer on the AAU circuit running with Team United (N.C.) 15-and-under, which played against 16-and-under teams all season.

Gary said playing up helped him prepare for the rigors of a varsity season.

“I knew that the older guys would be faster, think better and be stronger than me so I really wanted to play against them to get used to it,” Gary said. “I wanted to learn and be ready when this season started. I really only focus on getting better because I’m not there yet. When people tell me how great I can be, I don’t really think about it. I know I’m good, but I’m not great. The only way I can get there is to keep working so that’s what I do.”

Watch Juwan Gary go to work. 

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

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