Updated: Jun 11, 2022
The prestigious Pangos All-American Camp, an invite-only event featuring the top high school prospects in the nation, returned this summer after it was cancelled due to the pandemic last year. Pro Insight was on hand to evaluate the event and caught up with Ernest Udeh, Jr. of Dr. Phillips High School (FL) and Southeast Elite (FL). Udeh, Jr. was selected to the Top-30 Cream of the Crop Game and averaged 17.0 points (4th overall), 5.3 rebounds (3.5 offensive), while shooting 76% from the field over four games.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Udeh, Jr. talked about how he got into playing basketball, his enjoyment of movies as a pastime, which schools he has heard from recently, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Ernest Udeh, Jr., from Orlando, Florida:
Pro Insight: What have been your impressions of the Pangos All-American Camp?
Ernest Udeh, Jr.: Ah man, just being in a certain space where all the top athletes in the country [are here] and to be recognized as one of them also, it's really been a blessing so I really love it here.
PI: Who have you enjoyed playing with on your Pangos team?
EU: I've been playing with Jordan Walsh — that's one of the top guys here that I have on my team. He talks on the ball, he talks off the ball. He kind of gets all the guys involved, puts us in the right spots, and he's really a team guy so I appreciate playing with him.
PI: Talk a bit about your background. How did you get into basketball?
EU: Growing up, I started watching basketball like when LeBron James was in the [NBA] Finals versus the Spurs. After I watched that, I just picked up a basketball. I never really took it seriously until ninth grade when I realized that I could make money and a career off of this. And I was like, “why wouldn't I do it?” You know what I'm saying? And also for the love of the game, it's two-and-two together. It's a great combo. So that's what really got me into it.
PI: Have you always been tall?
EU: In seventh grade, I was like 6’3. So, I don't know if I've hit my growth spurt yet, but I've always been tall.
PI: What are your current measurements?
EU: I don't know my wingspan, but I'm currently 6’10 at 230 pounds.
PI: Are there any other athletes in your family?
EU: Well my mom…she played volleyball and table tennis and my parents were both really tall. My dad was 6’4 and my mom was 6’0 so that's probably where I got the genes from.
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, describe your strengths and playstyle.
EU: I can play with pace, but I can also play with my back to the basket. I'm very active on the ball on defense. I can guard one-through-five. I run up and down the court with a lot of energy. I'm expanding my game more so to get open pops off of a pick-and-roll and to pick-and-pop. I can take it coast-to-coast if I need to. That's some of the parts of my game.
PI: Who do you model your game after or try to study on film?
EU: I mean, there's not really a specific person I can say that I like to watch, but in the past few months I've been studying Hakeem Olajuwon — how he was able to play with pace, with his back to the basket. Just putting more of a post-game into my game on the court. Just me in general, just learning more post moves, those counters [moves]. [I’m also working on] how he reacts to the ball when he's on the court, when it’s five-out or four-out, one-in. So just getting more fundamentals within me.
PI: What kind of system do you feel best fits your strengths as a player?
EU: Honestly, just a system that allows me to be involved with the team. Not just as a hundred-percent go-to guy, just me making sure that I'm involved, being able to help the team out however I can is just really one of the biggest parts.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
EU: I really enjoy movies. I'd say I like mystery movies that keep you guessing that there's a big plot reveal at the end. I really like to watch those. TV shows, chill besides working out, obviously. So yeah.
PI: Are you watching any particular TV shows or movies right now?
EU: You know Snowfall? Snowfall is about crime in Compton back in the eighties. That’s what I’m really on right now. So yeah. Power. That's another one. Book III — it hasn't come out. It comes out soon, so I'm going to be sure to watch that one. It keeps you interested.
PI: What's your recruitment update?
EU: My most recent offer was from Kansas and that was really a big one. Just being able to see the work that I put in, so with the rewards you can say I'm getting, it's really a blessing. So I'm going to just keep on working, put my head down and stay humble and just watch everything unfold in front of me.
PI: Who are you hearing from the most lately?
EU: I'm hearing from Ole Miss, they offered. I'm hearing from Minnesota most recently, they haven't offered, but like I said Kansas, Seton Hall, Georgia, Georgia Tech. There's just so many schools I've been hearing from most recently.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
EU: Just my ability to always stay active, because a lot of guys that come to these things, they act cool, but just being able to stay active and treat it like it's a real game situation and not just like a hangout. Just keeping that motor up and keeping it going and playing hard 24/7. Me being out here and that's just pretty much one of the things I want to be remembered for.