DAndre Bernard: The Commitment to Development
You want to talk potential, well lets talk D’Andre Bernard.
Every basketball prospect on planet earth shares a quality called “potential.” There are different ceilings to it, when combined with quality characteristics like maturity, work ethic and killer instinct.
DAndre Bernard is packaged with all of the qualities listed above; not to mention his spring-like leaping ability and length; DB is on the steady incline due to his desire to improve, along with the game plan that has been set in motion.
The path taken by Bernard this summer was entirely different from most prospects at the high school level, especially 2015 graduates for that matter.
Typically, the mindset of any prospect (Canadian or American) that is one year away from graduation is to get as much exposure as possible during the summer’s travel season.
While most spent their summer on the American circuit, Bernard made the mature decision in staying at home in order to expand on his skill set and make the transition to the small forward position.
As a “late bloomer” Bernard needed to live in the gym to work on adding strength and skill in order to maximize his summer.
“The plan going into the summer was to prepare myself to be one of the leaders of the team next year. I knew we were losing our seniors Gavin, Jamal, Rashawn & Trae so I knew someone else would have to step up as a leader,” said Bernard, reffering to his former teammates, 2 of which are current NCAA freshman.
As anxious as some of the NCAA coaches were to evaluate him during the “Live Period”, none were taken back with the fact that he stayed home; instead impressed that a high school kid would make such a sensible decision to address his weaknesses.
“I did not play any AAU tournaments this summer. It was hard for me to sit out because I’m a competitor and I didn’t like the idea of everyone else getting an opportunity to play in front of NCAA coaches while I’m not,” Bernard told North Pole Hoops.
“But I knew where I stood as a player and how important it was for me to take this summer to really work on transitioning my game from playing in the post to playing on the wing. I knew I could trust both Charles Hantoumakos & Charles Scott,” explained Bernard, acknowledging his high school coaches.
With the 2014-2015 season right around the corner, Bernard is anxious to put his new skill set to the test and show why he is among the best prospects in the country for the class of 2015.
Bill Crothers plays an independent travel schedule that allows them to consistently play strong competition in Canada and the United States, while being exposed to NCAA coaches on both sides of the border.
For Bernard, the thought of matching up against the world’s top high school prospects is embraced rather than feared.
This season, Bill Crothers will take on Orangeville Prep, which carries a start-studded roster including the number one 2016 prospect in the world, Thon Maker, NPH #1-ranked 2016 Jamal Murray, and Jalen Poyser who has made it to the top of the 2015 class in Canada.
Bernard is the definition of upside or “potential” and the 6’8 wing looks to turn it into production throughout the 2014-2015 season.
It will be a progressive process of tightening his game month by month, day by day, and he is inviting the challenge.
“I have big expectations for myself and I also want to keep up the tradition of Bill Crothers being an elite program in North America and I’m determined not to come short of these expectations.”