It's Never Too Late - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/6/07-Tyler

It's Never Too Late

It seems simple enough to basketball fundamentalist, but for Lufkin's Jammarcus Russell it was one of the hardest skills he ever learned.

"Left hand layup," he said. "I couldn't do a left hand layup for nothing."

But now?

"I can dunk with my left hand," Jammarcus laughed.

Even though he was 6'4 as a sophomore, somehow no one had ever really seen basketball potential in Jammarcus. 

"Over the summer I grew four inches. I'm 6'8 now," he said. "My coach really took into consideration my height. He was like, 'Do you want to play basketball?' I was like 'cool.'"

At age 15, Jammarcus learned how dribble and shoot.

"It was hard. I was tired. I didn't know what to do but my body was just breaking down every day."

But he kept at it and joined the Lufkin Panthers varsity team. For the first time, Jammarcus began thinking of his future. He called AAU team JAMODI coach Chip Cunningham for a shot at some exposure. Chip offered to take Jammarcus to a tournament. It became the chance of a lifetime.

"We went to Dallas, I had a wonderful three games and signed a letter of intent with McNeese," Jammarcus said.

Jammarcus makes it sound much simpler than it really is. The Summer Tip-off in Dallas was his first AAU tournament. Now he will play Division I college ball at McNeese State.

"I was laughing, I was shocked," Jammarcus said of the approach from coaches.  "I mean, I didn't want to cry but I was just so happy it was just so much building in side of me. My family, the only person that's been to college really is my grandmother. It's a shock to my family and to the people around Lufkin."

"All it took was three games." 

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