Up in Mono, Ontario, Orangeville Prep is home to Jamal Murray, Thon Maker, Ignas Brazdeikis, and Luguentz Dort among others. Founded by Jesse Tipping and advanced by Tony McIntyre, the program consistently sends Canadian prospects to the NCAA with league potential. Operating as a premier Canadian prep program, “O-Ville” changed the landscape of Canadian high school basketball by keeping household names north of the border while boosting a competitive national schedule in The Grind Session as well as attending various prestigious tournaments.
Enter Jefferson Monegro. A 6’4” guard from Montreal, Canada who already has a growing list of high major offers and interests including Oklahoma State and Memphis among others.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Monegro discusses his background, the budding basketball culture in his hometown, his recruitment, off-court interests, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2022 prospect Jefferson Monegro, from Montreal, Canada:
Pro Insight: Tell us about your background.
Jefferson Monegro: I'm born in Montreal, Canada. My parents... my mom was born in the Dominican Republic. My dad was born in Peru but grew up in Venezuela. I was a soccer player first and then I kind of fell in love with basketball when I was going into second grade. And from there on, I just loved the game and I started working hard. I have three brothers. They’re 12 (years old), 11 (years old) and four (years old).
PI: Who is the biggest influence in your life?
JM: My mother. She works hard every day. Growing up, nothing was given to us. So that's where I get my work ethic from and she just did an amazing job with us.
PI: You mentioned you played soccer — what other sports did you play growing up?
JM: I kind of did a little bit of everything. Soccer, hockey, football, flag football, and dance.
PI: What type of dance do you like?
JM: I like Krump and I like hip hop and stuff like that - break dance.
PI: What are your interests outside of basketball?
JM: I like video games. I like music so I'm getting into making beats and stuff like that just because we can't really do much during quarantine. I'm getting interested in video editing and taking pictures. I just try to keep myself busy.
PI: What video games are you currently playing?
JM: I play 2K and Call of Duty.
PI: Talk about the basketball culture in Quebec.
JM: Basketball is really important. People are starting to take notice of it and starting to realize that in Quebec we have some good basketball players. We have guys like Luguentz (Dort), Quincy Guerrier at Syracuse and a bunch of other guys are at DI right now, high major - even at the high school level, basketball is really important. Everybody knows. The basketball culture is really close to each other, everybody knows each other and also when we play against each other here it's fun because you want to compete and beat guys you know. Basketball is a really important thing and I feel like especially in Montreal, it brings people together.
PI: What are your biggest strengths on the basketball court?
JM: My biggest strength is getting to the rim. I’m explosive. I have a quick first step. It’s definitely getting to the rim. My speed too - I’d put that in there.
PI: What are some things you’re trying to improve?
JM: I’m trying to improve my ball handling. I feel like it could be tighter and smoother. And my jump shot - different pull ups from right left, left right - creating my own jump shot. Since I got into Orangeville I feel like, from last year, the difference is amazing. I can actually put the ball on the floor and take it left or right. For sure I got to keep working on that.
PI: What are some underrated aspects of your game?
JM: Playing defense. I love playing defense. I hate getting scored on. I feel like that’s the one part that people sleep on most.
PI: Who do you model your game after and study on film?
JM: Luguentz Dort. I love how he plays. He plays hard. Defends. He can score. I guess I watch a little bit of everything in point guards like Tre Jones. Damian Lillard. Yeah, I just I just watched a little bit everything. Like you might catch me watching AD just because I want to see how he uses different footwork in the post and stuff like that. If whenever I'm working on something I'll just go look at a player that's good at it and try to apply it into my game.
PI: What’s the latest with your recruitment?
JM: My recruitment is going well. I’m actually surprised because AAU did not happen. We haven’t played any games yet in Canada because we can’t. But my recruitment is going really well because of the way that Orangeville has set up everything - the live streams that they are doing. The intrasquad scrimmages. It’s doing good, I can’t complain.
PI: What are your current offers and who has shown interest?
JM: I currently have offers from Bryant University and Oklahoma State University. I have high interest from some other schools like Memphis and Santa Clara. I have been in contact with Wake Forest, Michigan State. Those are a few of those that are in my head right now but I communicate a lot with Memphis and Oklahoma State.
PI: In your opinion, who are the top players in the Canadian 2022 class?
JM: Shaedon Sharpe. Majambu Mbikay - my teammate. D.J. Jackson. Elijah Mahi. Josiah Davis. There's a bunch of other guys like Jaden Clayton - good point guard. Those are some of the good players that are in Canada - there's a lot of good players from Canada. And I could put myself up there for sure. There’s a ton of good players in the Canada 2022 class. Noah Otshudi - Bill Crothers. He’s nice. We have talent here and I feel like people are starting to see it as some guys decide to go play in America. All of those guys are Canadian. They’re starting to see it and play too.
PI: What are four words that describe you?
JM: Laid back. Hard working kid. I always want to learn more. I'm always asking questions about something to learn more every day. I would even say quiet in some situations. I try to spread positivity, but right now it's hard just in general in the world. There's just not enough positivity going around. So I’m a hard working guy. I’m laid back a little bit. I mind my business. I’d say I’m kind.
Watch the full interview with Jefferson, here