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Zion Russell

National Christian Academy (Current)

Team Durant - Nike 






175 lbs



Strong Hand





  • Talented scorer and gifted playmaker capable of creating high percentage shots for himself and his teammates.  Finishes through contact and displays excellent body control.

  • Puts great pressure on the defense.  Understands when to attack and when to get his teammates involved.  Locates perimeter shooters and teammates for drop-offs on the block with ease.

  • An impressive athlete who combines controlled explosiveness with strong fundamentals.  Allows the game to come to him, but maintains the right level of aggression.  Needs to continue to develop a consistent jump shot.

  • Stays low with the ball and executes dribble moves with purpose and effectiveness, creating good space for himself.  Plays with a high IQ and shows he is able to make good decisions with the ball, even under pressure.

  • Strong finisher at the basket.  Uses excellent angles to get into the paint.  Draws the foul and shoots a high percentage from the line.  Deliberate and patient, but wastes no time in getting to where he is going.


  • Very good athlete – contains explosive qualities

    • Good speed and acceleration

    • Has bounce – two-legged jumper

      • Ex. Rose up twice for blocks in the open court where the taller, longer offensive player tried to create contact.  He stayed vertical, and blocked the shots with two hands.

    • Great body control

    • Good hand-eye coordination

  • Smooth, strong movements

  • Hips allow for smooth, powerful change of directions

  • Shows strong endurance

    • Displays good strength; has a nice body build for the point guard position

      • Accepts contact off the dribble and while finishing

  • When defensive guards make contact, it is usually them who move from the impact and not Russell as the ballhandler

  • Agile; nice footwork

Offensive Qualities

  • Talented scorer with a good balance between scoring and distributing

  • Playmaker capable of creating high percentage shots for himself and his teammates

  • Possesses a refreshing base of fundamentals

  • Stays under control on the drive, head up; takes a persistent and patient path to the basket

    • Does not rush or go up to shoot too soon

    • Impressive footwork

    • Uses excellent angles

  • Strong finisher around the basket

    • Maintains good concentration on the basket, even amongst traffic

    • Finishes well through contact

    • Uses his body well to draw the contact/foul and still get the ball up on the board for a relatively high percentage shot

    • High conversion rate

  • Prefers to drive and finish with his strong hand (right hand)

    • Often when driving left, he ends up finishing to the right

  • Naturally moves north-south

  • Effectively utilizes change of pace both with and without the ball

  • Uses his driving ability to create space by pushing the defender and snapping back with the dribble

    • Periodically uses step backs going in both directions

      • Creates great space with it

  • Unselfish player; team first

    • Looks to get his teammates involved

  • Places pressure on the defense through:

    • The threat to get in the paint and finish

    • The threat to draw the shooting foul

      • And convert 3-point plays at a high percentage

    • The threat to accumulate one-in-one situations by drawing fouls on the floor

    • The ability to score from midrange

    • The ability to convert difficult shots

  • Capable of connecting from 3, but still inconsistent

  • Prefers to operate from the top of the key, but is not limited


  • Improving midrange shooter; developing into a consistent shotmaker off the dribble

    • The farther from the basket, the more inconsistent the shot

  • Shoots a high percentage from the free throw line

  • Shot selection

    • Smart and patient – searches out the high percentage shot

      • Doesn’t force bad shots often

    • Prefers driving to the basket over shooting off of the dribble

      • Bases tendencies on the defensive personnel, highlighting his IQ

  • Mechanics

    • His feet tend to be spread farther apart than shoulder width on the catch and shoot

      • Assists him with staying balanced and squared

    • Would benefit from getting his elbow and release point up a little more

    • Keeps the elbow tucked on the shot nicely; body is “intact”

    • Would benefit from making his shot one continuous movement

      • Has a tendency to guide the shot instead of letting it go

    • Finishes with a nice snap of the wrist


  • Has a nice handle overall

  • Strong with the dribble

  • Protects the ball well with his body

  • Keeps the ball close to his body

  • Direct movements with the ball; doesn’t play with it

  • Makes dribble moves with strength and effectiveness

    • He intends to create space and is successful

    • Also effective at closing the space on a defender and getting into their body to gain the advantage in positioning

  • Dribbles with a lot of purpose, both in the half court and in transition

  • Keeps eyes/head up running the offense and in the open court

  • Good ball control going right and left

  • Stays low with the ball on the drive, and does not pick it up prematurely

  • Shifts the dribble to the left, middle, and right of his body to protect the ball

  • Handles full court pressure with ease and strength

  • Because he keeps his eyes/head up while dribbling, he is able to accept the double/trap and handle it with intelligence


  • Willing passer – unselfish

  • Likes to pass with one hand, right or left, on the perimeter

  • Accurate with the right touch on the right occasions

    • Able to pass accurately off the dribble and in the open court

  • Locates and delivers to perimeter shooters on the drive and kick with ease

  • Adept at getting into the paint and dumping off to teammates for easy baskets

Basketball IQ

  • High IQ

    • Excellent understanding of time and space

    • Keeps track of where his teammates are on the floor while the ball is in his hands, and knows where they will be

    • Terrific understanding of when to attack and when to take advantage of what the defense gives him

      • Recognizes when to be aggressive and when to get teammates involved

    • Shows good decision making ability

      • Decisive

  • Does not try to play outside of himself; makes the right play

  • Displays good judgment overall


  • Does not get flustered under pressure

  • Patient/calm demeanor

  • Not in a rush, but gets to where he is going

  • Commands (not demands) respect on the court

Offensive Qualities
Basketball IQ
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