Piano prodigy training for 2022 NBA Draft after graduating high school at 16

Photo: Nick Oza/The Arizona Republic

Piano prodigy training for 2022 NBA Draft after graduating high school at 16

Boys Basketball

Piano prodigy training for 2022 NBA Draft after graduating high school at 16

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When five-star 2020 high school prospect MarJon Beauchamp announced he had committed to Chameleon BX on Aug. 1, he gave a glimpse at a new possibility for NBA Draft training.

The decision by Beauchamp created a lot of talk among the basketball world and ended up being a driving force in landing the second commitment to the Chameleon BX program, high school phenom J.D. Tsasa.

Tsasa, who attended North Canyon High School in Arizona, just turned 16 years old in March. He graduated two years ahead of his class and plans on training for the 2022 NBA Draft. This draft is seen as the possible end to the current age limit in place and would include players coming straight from the high school ranks.

Tsasa is 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-0.25 wingspan and is comfortable playing on and defending the perimeter. Beyond being academically gifted, he is a classically trained pianist, with aspirations of composing music and playing at Carnegie Hall. He was studying Latin at 9 years old and was on track to graduate high school at 15.

Tsasa’s mother, Gratia Saamdi, contacted founder Frank Matrisciano about the program through the Chameleon BX website. They had been going over possible college options and European offers but saw an opportunity with Chameleon BX following the announcement that Beauchamp would join the program.

“Chameleon BX offers the most comprehensive program for developing young talent,” Saamdi said. “Frank Matrisciano is accomplished in transforming athletes and the skills training provided by Chameleon BX’s NBA experienced coaching staff made the decision easy for us. No other option came close, including college.”

The process of getting into the Chameleon BX program included a workout evaluation done by 18-year NBA veteran, Eddie Johnson. Matrisciano was in Phoenix at the two-hour, grueling workout, which Tsasa completed alongside Beauchamp.

Tsasa was not on any major rankings and his academic ability had clearly surpassed the high school level. Over the next year, Matrisciano will have a workout and nutrition plan for him. He will work on his game and piano, then be ready for the Chameleon BX training program starting June 1, 2020.

The program developed by Matrisciano includes a roster of NBA coaches who will help put in time with the athletes throughout the process with Matrisciano providing his training for strength and conditioning. Chameleon BX will also provide marketing, nutritional guidance and even a professor for higher learning at request.

As Tsasa transitions to the program in the San Fransisco area, he will be a player to monitor in the coming months as he continues to develop his game and improve his overall skillset.

Get more draft news and analysis at Rookie Wire.

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Piano prodigy training for 2022 NBA Draft after graduating high school at 16
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