top of page

Amani Hansberry

St. John's High School (DC)

Team Durant 






~225 lbs



Strong Hand


Potential Level


June 2020
  • This is a young man. Game shows early shades of Elton Brand and Zach Randolph as a freshman this past season.  Plays with a mix of skill, aggression, and grace; where he seeks contact, but finishes with a soft touch.  Powerful but agile.  Strong, but soft hands. 

  • Knows his way around the paint, establishes great position, and finishes through contact in a variety of ways.  Uses a beautiful jump hook, turning over his right and left shoulders.  Ambidextrous around the rim.

  • One of the better defenders I watched all season, regardless of position.  Plays with an impressive IQ and feel for the game.  Sound decision maker out of the post and on the short wings.  Plays with physicality. 

  • Nice mid-range jumpshot with improving range.  A good rebounder on both ends of the floor.  Strong offensive put back game. Hard worker who tracks the ball well. 

  • Fundamentally sound with excellent footwork.  Moves to the ball naturally.  Adept at defending the pick & roll. Competitive young big who plays to win.

  • I cannot overemphasize the strength he not only possesses, but understands how to use

  • Solid, sturdy build, but still youthfully slender upper body with muscle tone.  He is even stronger than he looks, and he looks strong for a freshman.

  • Physical, does not shy away from contact at all

    • Seeks out contact at the appropriate times

  • Very good length – has a nice reach

  • Utilizes his elbows to his advantage, clearing space and holding position

  • Limited lift and athleticism overall.  Moves like a traditional big.

    • A bit slow afoot

    • Will benefit from working on his foot speed and lateral quickness/fluidity

  • This kid can still move, so don’t get this wrong…

    • Overall agility is good

    • He wastes no time, and is not lazy.  He is out there getting after it.

    • Moves so well underneath

    • Natural instincts and movements

  • Excellent ball skills with really nice hand-eye coordination

  • Love his aggression level.  Shows flashes of bully ball.  You gotta love it. 

Post Play/Big Man Attributes
Big Man Attributes
  • In the Post (leading you step by step through his post process)

    • Positioning – love the way he posts up

      • Does a great job of using his rear-end, elbows, and the rest of his body to establish position.  Not only does he establish it, but he creates the space to operate once he catches, allowing him to reverse-pivot and face up, if he prefers.

      • Gives a lovely target so the guards can clearly see him, but waits until he has the position first before doing so

        • Gets his arms fully extended so that he meets the pass (just can’t stress enough how important it is for a young player to have this good habit)

      • Moves to the open spot well

        • Capable of flashing up the lane and across the lane while keeping the defender sealed or on his back

        • Utilizes a nice roll move when jostling for position

      • Shows the will to get position

      • Has a good 3-second timer in his head

    • Shows patience, but does have a tendency to immediately put it on the floor.  A lot of times he is looking left over the right shoulder with the dribble.

    • Maintains his body between the ball and man

    • Post moves – you can tell he really works on his game just by watching him work down low.  Possesses very good footwork and technique. 

      • Effective drop step to the left and right

        • Gets his body into the defender to aid the effectiveness of the drop step

        • Drop step and twist of the body occurs with force and velocity

      • Beautiful jump hooks over the right and left shoulders

        • Can shoot it with range, with a foot outside of the paint

        • Shoots it with the great form/mechanics

          • Body is vertical

          • Keeps his off arm up for ball protection and balance

          • Release is at its max point

          • Finishes the shot

      • Really likes to turn to his left and go over his right shoulder, finishing left

        • Establishes the position so that when he receives the pass, he turns and finishes without hesitation

        • Proves to be very effective, as most defenders are accustomed to a right-handed post player preferring to move and shoot right

        • Needs to make sure he keeps his pivot foot down

      • Nice solid, foundational footwork on all moves with the ball

      • Uses his elbows and body well to clear space

      • Has a tendency to put the ball on the floor one-too-many times, and will need to continue developing his understanding of when to dribble and when not to

  • Around the rim/finishing

    • Strong finisher with his left and right hands

      • Impressive left hand; ambidextrous around the rim

        • Finishes on dump-offs, in traffic/over contests, off post moves, jump hooks, and second-chance opportunities

      • Consistently finishes through contact

      • Gets the ball up on the board quickly with a nice soft touch

      • Adept at finishing over taller/longer defenders with an array of shot types and moves to create the necessary space

      • Knows how and when to use his body appropriately

      • Does not hurry the finish in traffic, and maintains focus on the goal

      • Uses the board very nicely

  • Displays terrific offensive rebounding ability, and converts put backs on these second-chance opportunities at a high percentage

    • Good motor; active in getting opportunities on his own

    • Tracks the flight of the ball

      • Maintains positioning while keeping track of the ball

    • Moves to the ball naturally

    • Uses his strength and agility to overcome a block out to reach the ball

  • Has a tremendous put back game

    • Very little wasted movement

    • Keeps the ball high and protects it

    • Gets the ball back on the board quickly

  • Soft, but strong hands

  • Does a nice job of sealing his man on the offensive end to function as an unofficial screener

  • Very strong with the ball

  • Good rim-to-rim runner/ball tracker

  • Nice mid-range jumpshot

    • Can shoot his 15-footer from virtually all areas of the court

      • Nice touch from the elbow areas and short wing

  • Developing his 3-point range; shows that he is capable of knocking the trey down

  • Possesses a smooth turnaround jumpshot that he releases off of the pass when flashing towards the foul line area

  • It will be interesting to see how he progresses as a shooter over the next 3 years, and will be very difficult to deal with a potent inside-outside game

  • Form/mechanics

    • Leans slightly to the left; starts with the ball slightly to the left of his body

    • Sets feet

    • His propensity to lean left can sometimes result in being slightly unsquared

    • Release point is from around the eye level, slightly to the left

    • Shoots and finishes up with extension, so he gets great air on the ball

      • The upward motion is one of the main reasons he is able to shoot over taller/longer defenders

      • Will benefit from a consistent flick of the wrist and more use of the fingertips

    • All in nearly one continuous shooting motion

  • Nice, soft touch

  • Takes some time to get it off

    • Would like to see the full shot motion lead to a faster release

  • Great concentration on the basket; a contest on his shot does not bother him, nor does it alter his form/mechanics

    • Does not hurry the shot

  • Shoots a nice foul shot

  • Good shot selection overall

Other Offensive Qualities
Other Offensive Qualities
  • Very fundamental; uses great techniques in multiple areas

  • Skilled in multiple facets; knows how to play

  • Stays within himself; team player – unselfish

    • Looks to make the right play

  • Needs to improve as a screener

    • Has to make better contact as a ball screener and off-the-ball screener

    • Does not hold the screen

  • One of the better defenders I watched all season, regardless of position.  Very impressive.

  • His basketball IQ really shows through on this end of the floor

    • Understands defensive schemes and how to play in a team system

    • Communicates with his teammates

    • Understands the importance of creating lanes for his teammates

      • Has a good sense of spacing

    • Intelligent rim protector

  • Combines his IQ with hard work

  • Strong post defender; knows how to defend without fouling

    • Has a tendency to overplay on the top side and get beat on the lob pass

  • Stays active; hands up, attentive

  • Strong defensive rebounder

    • Good block out technique

      • Even grabbed a few boards after it bounces like it’s a drill

      • When the ball goes up, he has a good habit of immediately looking to get a body on someone

    • Tracks the flight of the ball

    • Uses the strength for positioning

      • Also allows him to come away with contested rebounds

  • Hedges well on the screen; moves his feet well.  Love his ability to guard the pick & roll.

  • Contests well on jumpshooters

  • Will need to improve his close out against the drive

    • Use short, choppier steps; improve foot speed

  • Fights over the cross screen in the paint

  • Shows really good vision from his favorite areas on the court

    • Very effective in passing out of the post

      • Creates a good angle with a dribble into the D and hits the spot up shooter on the opposite wing

    • Foul line area/high-post 

      • Throws a nice bounce pass to both blocks with accuracy

      • Jump pass over the defenders to cutters

      • Kick outs to the wings

    • On the block/in the paint, short corners – his patience allows him to see the floor, most notably spot up shooters on the opposite wings

    • An offensive sequence, for example: sits down wide in the middle of the lane and receives the pass.  Turns left and runs into a sudden double down.  Stays calm, accepts the 2nd defender and throws a left-handed wrap around pass to the 2nd defender’s man cutting to the basket for an easy lay-in.  Very mature.

  • Sound decision-maker; makes the right pass

    • Willing passer

Basketball IQ
  • Understands the value of a possession

  • Always seems to know exactly where he is on the court

    • Very good position player

  • Noticeably good decision maker for a freshman

  • Excellent feel in the paint

  • Understood his role this season

    • Looking forward to watching his role evolve

    • Shows a firm grasp on game planning and his role on both ends

  • Possesses very natural instincts around the basket

  • Refer to the “Defense” section above for more insight

  • Love his motor; gets after it

  • Backs down to no one

  • One game, he shot an air ball on his 1st of 2 from the foul line.  There was no noticeable change in his demeanor as he waited for the next shot to come.  Next shot was all net.

  • Good demeanor on the court

  • Competitive

  • Does the little things; plays to win

bottom of page