Updated: Sep 21, 2021
To conclude an event-filled summer, CrossRoads Elite Invitational provided an opportunity to get an early look at some of the nation's top underclassmen all under one roof. Taking place at the YMCA Farha Sports Centers in Wichita, Pro Insight was on hand to cover the three-day event. In between games, we caught up with Asa Newell of Choctawhatchee High School (FL) and 1Family Hoops (FL).
After being named one of the top performers at the prestigious CP3 camp the weekend before, Newell continued his stock-rising play at the CrossRoads Elite Invitational. Standing at 6’8 with a plus-wingspan and a budding inside-outside game, Newell brings an excellent blend of physical tools, foundational skill set, and upside at the hybrid forward position.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Newell discussed his style of play, receiving advice from pros, his recruitment update, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2024 prospect Asa Newell, from Destin, Florida:
Pro Insight: Talk a bit about your background.
Asa Newell: I’m from Georgia originally and moved to Destin, Florida about five years ago. I was a soccer player until I was in sixth grade, then I tried out for the middle school [basketball] team and made it. Ever since then I’ve been putting the work in. I have an older brother, Jaden Newell, he’s 6’7. I have a younger sister, Zoe, she’s a bucket too.
PI: How good is your older bro?
AN: He’s still in high school right now, he’s a senior. Same thing with him, but he didn’t start playing basketball until eighth grade. He’s on the varsity team at my high school.
PI: You made the switch to basketball from soccer — what attracted you to the game?
AN: Just watching the NBA. I never watched soccer, never enjoyed watching it, really. I always enjoyed watching basketball and watching everyone getting dunked on. I just fell in love with the game with players like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and all of those top guys.
PI: What are your current measurements?
AN: I’m 6’8 205 pounds and I have a 6’10-ish wingspan. My standing reach was over 8’0.
PI: Have you always been the tall kid?
AN: I was the tall and chubby kid. I always had a little extra fat on me, and then I grew and everything just stretched out. I was always tall.
PI: Describe your game — what are your strengths?
AN: I’m a stretch-4. I like taking the ball up the court, sometimes. I feel like I’m an underrated passer. I’m a knockdown three-point shooter, and if you have a mismatch on me then I’m going to put you in the rim.
PI: What about some improvement areas?
AN: I want to improve my ball handling so I can use combos, more. I want to start coming off the screen a little more with handoffs and try to get downhill.
PI: You mentioned passing — but what are some other underrated aspects of your game?
AN: I feel like my defense is a little underrated, too. I can block shots.
PI: Describe this past summer — how did it go?
AN: This summer was definitely a lot of hard work. I stayed with Coach Darryl [Hardin] for a couple weeks in the summer. Waking up every morning and playing with former pros in five-on-five runs and working on ball handling. 1Family had a training camp before the live period, so we would run hill sprints. All we did was just run and play basketball all day long. Summer was just a lot of hard work and dedication.
PI: How eye-opening were the open runs with pros?
AN: Sometimes they played with patience and sometimes they'd just go right by me and I had to figure out the tempo of the game, the tempo of what they were playing at. I asked a lot of questions.
PI: What type of advice did they share with you?
AN: Telling me to play slower because sometimes when I’m in the post I try to make a move really quick. Just take my time, use the footwork they taught me, coming off of screens on the defensive end, and that details matter.
PI: What’s the update with your recruitment?
AN: So I just got an offer from Illinois. My first offer was Oklahoma State, then Ole Miss, Georgia Tech and now Illinois. UCF has been in contact, lately; I took an unofficial visit over the summer. I love everyone over there. Florida and Wake Forest are coming to watch later this month. Yeah, I think that’s it.
PI: What are some things you are looking for out of your school of choice?
AN: I want a school that is a relationship first because I want it to feel like family. I don’t want to feel like I’m playing for someone just for my talent. I want to play for pretty much family — so relationships are definitely number-one. I want them to be a tough school of course and an IQ school...like they know what they’re doing. Whatever school I go to I want to dominate and I want them to let me play how I want to play.
PI: How do you see your role playing out at the next level?
AN: I see myself as a dominant force, a mismatch problem, I want people to be scared to guard me, and I want my presence on the court to be known. I’ll be shooting and posting up.
PI: What are some of your off-court interests? Any hobbies?
AN: I would say basketball is my only hobby. I like going to the beach, relaxing, staying in bed, sleeping...because I’m always sleep-deprived. Always hanging out with friends.
PI: You play video games?
AN: I play a little Call of Duty...I used to play Fortnite, but it kind of broke down a little bit. Little Rocket League and Minecraft.
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
AN: #Certified because I’m a bucket. I’m a certified bucket.
PI: If you were stuck forever on a deserted island and had all the food, water, and shelter you needed — what three personal items would you bring?
AN: First I would take my Bible — got to get in the word every day. A four-wheeler — want to have fun on the dunes. And my phone...I think that’s it.