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FEATURE: James Wiseman looks to end his NIKE EYBL career on top

By Pat Lawless, 07/06/18, 6:00PM EDT

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James Wiseman has worked for everything he’s been given and that’s including being ranked the number one ranked player in the class of 2019, according to ESPN. Wiseman’s development from freshman year has been tremendous as he has gone from someone with impressive physical tools to a multidimensional big man. Wiseman is a priority to some of the top programs throughout the country with the likes of Kentucky’s John Calipari and Memphis’ Penny Hardaway recruiting him hard. Through all of this praise, Wiseman makes sure to stay grounded.

“Before I was even ranked number one in the country, I really had to work to get up to that spot,” he said. “I just keep working every day, I don’t change anything else and do the same routines that I’ve been doing. I just make sure to keep myself grounded and my family keeps me grounded so I stay humble through the process and just work hard every day.”

He sees a lot of improvements in his game from last year and a lot of it has to do with his expanding skill set.

“Last summer my ball handling wasn’t as much of a strength as it is now,” he said. “I would say my ball handling has improved especially with me dribbling in transition. My shooting got way better and my passing got way better. I would say everything in my game has improved a lot.”

Wiseman has taken on more of a leadership role this season on the EYBL circuit with the Bluff City Legends. His coaches have encouraged him to be more vocal and he thinks it’s a good experience for the future.

“Whatever college I pick I’m going to have to be a leader one day so it’s good that I pick that up now,” Wiseman said. “My EYBL coaches have been telling me to make sure I’m vocal on both ends of the court. I just want to be that floor general on the court to lead my team to wins and bring our team together.”

After getting off to just a decent start, the Bluff City Legends finished off the season with a 4-0 record at session 4. The team’s chemistry looked much improved and were unstoppable at times with the amount of talent they have. Wiseman has enjoyed this experience from start to finish.

“The season has been going great,” said Wiseman. “Our team as a whole is a great team and we have started to build our chemistry as the sessions went on. Our team got better throughout the season and we had to just trust each other and strengthen our bond. For me individually this season has been a process. There have been difficulties and some great moments so I’ve enjoyed this season.”

After coming off a successful session 4, Wiseman knows that his team has what it takes to win it all. They have great talent individually, but the five-star big man realizes the importance of playing together in an event as competitive as the Peach Jam.

“If we come together as a team and trust each other, then I believe that we can win Peach Jam,” said Wiseman. “We have the talent to do it along with the length and athleticism. If we come together as a team, then everything will work itself out.”

Ending his Nike EYBL career on top would be special for Wiseman. He wants this for himself and the Bluff City Legends organization.

“It’s been a special and long journey for me,” he said. “It will be great to win Peach Jam, because that’s the ultimate goal that I’ve always wanted to receive. If we win Peach Jam, it will be great for the Bluff City Legends organization and for me personally."

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