Whitney Young (Chicago) center Jahlil Okafor doesn’t think, he knows, that when it comes to the question of which sport produces the best athletes, basketball is definitely on top.
“There are so many athletic things you have to be able to do in order to be a solid player; not even a great player,” said Okafor, the top ranked player in the ESPN 100 for 2014. “I don’t think there’s any question that basketball produces the best athletes in the world.”
Beg to differ?
You may think differently after reading Okafor’s compelling arguments.
Why is the ultimate athlete in your sport?
“Take your pick; running, jumping, agility… Those are just a few of the things you need to be good on the basketball court. But basketball players are the best at all of those because we’ve got to do it so many times over the course of a game.”
For people who disagree, what drill specific to your sport would you like to see them try?
“Definitely the full-court dunking drill. You have to run down the court and dunk a medicine ball 10 times. It’s hard enough with a regular ball, but with the medicine ball it’s just a really hard drill. Your legs burn, you get winded, it’s bad.”
What sport comes after basketball in producing the best athletes?
What's the best measure of a true athlete (strength, speed, quickness, agility, etc.)?
“It’s a combination of a lot of things, but I think strength and quickness really sets athletes apart from the rest.”
Who is the best athlete in your sport, past or present?
“Without a doubt LeBron James.”
What is the best example of something you did personally that shows why your sport has the ultimate athlete?
“Well, I don’t get enough credit for my athletic abilities, but I think just dunking on someone. You’ve got to jump higher and be stronger than the guy you’re dunking on. It’s harder than it looks.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY