The subject of this week’s HoopMIA player spotlight plays for historic powerhouse Miami High. Justin Neely is putting together a phenomenal season for the Stingarees. He is averaging 28.6 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. He has established himself as one of the top players in South Florida. He discussed what he feels the strengths of his game are and what he is looking to improve upon.
“I feel that I can score at all three levels and I am a big guard who can shoot,” said Neely. “I also believe I have good awareness and can play multiple positions on the court. I am working to improve on all aspects of my game as a whole and plan on continuing to work.”
Miami High is in the ultra competitive district 15 in 7a which features programs like Coral Gables, Christopher Columbus, Miami Coral Park, and Miami Beach. The district tournament begins next week at Coral Park. Neely and the Stings will face Miami Beach in the first round Monday at 5pm. They will enter the district tournament in 4th place, but Neely has high hopes for his team’s playoff run.
“We want to win a state championship here at Miami high this season. That is the main goal we have been striving for all year and now it is time to prove who we are.”
The 6 foot 5 junior and his team have been a frequent host for college coaches throughout the season. The interest from college programs is sure to increase as Neely continues to perform as a top prospect. He is a talented student athlete with great size for a perimeter player. Neely is a big time scorer with a great feel for the game. He discussed the reasons he is having such a great season and what his mindset will be when he has to make a choice on his college destination.
“I am just staying in the gym as much as possible whether it is coming in at 6am before school or staying late after practice to get shots up. I feel that the more I am in the gym the better I will be in the game. I am being recruited by many schools at the moment but I just want the best fit for me, where I can come in and make an impact at a place that I can call a home.”
Neely has a tremendous work ethic and it is paying off with his performance. He is a very versatile player that is capable of filling a lot of roles. He can score by driving, shooting, and posting up. He has the ability to defend multiple spots and is a good rebounder which leads to him initiating a lot of transition opportunities. The hard work he has put in has produced a diverse skill set. He is playing with supreme confidence and he talked about his feelings on the sport of basketball.
“I just have a pure love for the game. I have played the sport for a long time and I am still excited to play every day. The energy and excitement that I get every time I step on the floor is why I play.”
Neely is one of the top prospects in South Florida in the 2021 class. He has exceptional talent, but his work ethic and love for the game is separating him amongst his peers. He is driven to be the best player he can possibly be and it will be exciting to see what heights he can reach the rest of his high school career and throughout his college seasons.