Thursday, April 10, 2008

TJ Clemmings- Loving AAU Hoops

TJ Clemmings of Paterson Catholic (NJ) is one of New Jersey's top sophomores. The 6'8 forward/center runs with the Playaz during the AAU season. His U-16 squad was playing up at the U-17 level this past weekend at the Playaz Spring Fling, and I caught up with the big man after his team suffered a tough loss to the Juice Allstars. Despite the defeat, Clemmings stood out as a quality baller.

NB: Being a sophomore, have you begun thinking about colleges yet?
TC: Not right now, I’m not thinking about any really right now. I’m just trying to work on my game and get ready for college.

NB: For next season at the high school level with Paterson Catholic, what [is the team] . . . expecting to accomplish, with [many of] you . . . coming back and being juniors?
TC: Well, we’re going have a better team next year, so . . . we [are] going to win counties again and try to win the state championship.

NB: How are you going to replace [graduating senior Jordan] Theodore?
TC: We got a freshman guard coming in, we got . . . two sophomore guards, so we have to use them and play big.

NB: Playing in these tournaments--you guys are playing up a year--what does that do for you . . . as a team?
TC: Well, it [is] just really showing us how mature we are, playing against older guys. They [are] going to be a little bigger and a little more physical, so just got to play [with] the same intensity with them.

NB: How would you compare playing against older kids at an AAU level, to playing against older kids on the high school level?
TC: [With] AAU, [the refs] let you play more, it’s more runs, and up-and-down, and it’s not really getting fouled. They let you play, they really let you play, so that’s good.

NB: What do you enjoy playing more, high school or AAU [basketball]?
TC: I like AAU more, we go more places really, so I guess that’s why I like it more.

NB: What’s your favorite tournament to be a part of?
TC: Las Vegas, Las Vegas tournaments.

Clemmings is a high caliber player, playing with a top-notch AAU squad. In fact, according to, TJ's team won the U-17 championship at the Playaz Spring Fling, an impressive feat for any U-16 team, especially considering the numerous talented players involved in the event. Thus, it certainly makes sense that Clemmings is such a big fan of AAU ball. The super sophomore exhibited a nice shooting touch and a rebounding prowess. TJ does not only have great size, standing 6'8, but he has a well-chiseled build. The Paterson Catholic star is bound for success in the years to come.

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