Devin Askew got the pass on a fast break, sized up five-star, 6-foot-11 forward Dylan Anderson, and rose up.
He flushed it down.
It’s a new Devin Askew. He’s always had athleticism, but this dunking prowess is not something the nation is accustomed to from the Chosen 25 point guard, listed at 6-foot-3.
“I could rim graze,” he said.
He’s no longer that player at the rim.
“One of the things that I was told when I went to the Nike Skills Academy … just get my athleticism up,” Askew said. “Start finishing better around the rim, and I’ve been doing that.”
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With PJF Performance, he started working on techniques to help his jump and build up his fast-twitch reactions in his legs. Now bouncier, more athletic and able to better move laterally and toward the rim, Askew’s game is expanding.
“Layups and shooting, that was a lot of my game. Similar to how I play now, I just wasn’t as athletic,” he said.
At Hoophall West on Saturday, Askew led No. 14 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, California) to a win over Perry (Gilbert, Arizona). His most impressive play was the dunk over Anderson, another five-star player.
“One of my first big dunks,” Askew said with a smile.
After reclassifying and signing with Kentucky, Askew has one last season of high school basketball to get some more big dunks in before going to the NCAA.
The Wildcats program is good at helping players achieve their goals, Askew said — and he has lofty aspirations.
“I want to be an NBA point guard. I want to play in front of thousands of people and lead an NBA team,” he said.
Askew is already a good shooter and a crafty ball handler. He has good timing with his passes as he controls the flow of the game. There were a couple times Saturday it looked like his dribble moves got him room in a lane, but he elected to pass. As Askew continues to get more athletic and experiment with his abilities, he should become more confident at driving into tighter spaces and finishing.
Based on one of his takeaways from his Kentucky visit, he won’t get content with just a couple big dunks.
“Seeing all the players, how they work in the gym, that’s what I like the most. That’s what I find fun, working hard in the gym,” Askew said.