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Players share what hoops skills they hope to unwrap on Christmas Day


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jahlil Okafor hasn’t made a Christmas list.

He’s already got his Beats by Dre headphones and every other gadget imaginable. And with his birthday coming just 10 days before Santa  jumps down chimneys worldwide, Okafor isn’t pressed to make formal Christmas requests.

“It’s not a big deal,” said Okafor, a junior center at Whitney Young (Chicago) who is ranked No. 2 in the ESPN 60. “I can’t think of anything that I really want anyway.”

That was a popular response from players at the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla., last weekend, so we decided to expand the gift options.

We had players weigh in on what hoops skill they would want to unwrap on Christmas Day.

Nick Emery, Lone Peak (Highland, Utah), 2013

Signed to: BYU

The hoops skill I’d love to unwrap for Christmas is… “The ability to dunk. I would just love that! It’s just something about finishing with a hard dunk that gets everyone in the gym and everyone on your team going. I’ve dunked a few times, but it’s definitely not a normal thing. I want to unwrap some dunking skills.”

Montaque Gill-Caesar, Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.), 2015

Signed to: Undecided

The hoops skill I’d love to unwrap for Christmas is… “A killer crossover! I mean having that just gives you so many more options because you can get to wherever you want on the court so much easier. Then of course you’re breaking your defender’s ankles so that’s always fun.”

MORE: Gill-Caesar is the Next Big Thing

Matt Jones, De Soto (De Soto, Texas), 2013

Signed to: Duke

The hoops skill I’d love to unwrap for Christmas is… “Definitely some handles. There’s nothing like getting a guy with a great crossover so I would definitely love it if I could open a box of handles. Mine are good, but I want great handles.”  

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Julius Randle, Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas), 2013

Signed to: Undecided

The hoops skill I’d love to unwrap for Christmas is… “Well, I don’t know about this being a skill, but I would just love to unwrap some healing for my foot. Of course I want to get out there on the court right now so if I’m unwrapping anything I’d want it to be something to make my foot better.”

JaJuan Johnson, Southwind (Memphis), 2013

Signed to: Marquette

The hoops skill I’d love to unwrap for Christmas is… “Some crazy, sick handles. I’ve never had great handles so I think it would be cool to do tricks with the ball like Professor or somebody like that. I would love that.”

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Jahlil Okafor, Whitney Young (Chicago), 2014

Signed to: Undecided

The hoops skill I’d love to unwrap for Christmas is… “Definitely would love to unwrap a box of handles. That’s the biggest thing for me. I’m 7-feet tall; could you imagine me with some crazy handles? Oh man I’d be breaking everybody down.”  

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter @JayJayUSATODAY.

 

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