Updated: Jun 11
After taking a hiatus due to COVID last year, the 2021 Tarkanian Classic returned with 175+ teams spread across multiple gyms in Las Vegas, NV over the span of a week. Featuring elite basketball competition in prep and high school divisions, the must-see annual December high school tournament provided evaluators an opportunity to watch the prestigious NBA Academies in Africa and Latin America in addition to programs from around the U.S., Canada, and even Germany.
Pro Insight was on hand to cover the event and caught up with John Mobley, Jr. of Bishop Gorman HS (NV) and Vegas Elite (NV). In the 2021 Tarkanian Classic Platinum Championship Game, Mobley, Jr. rose to the occasion and hit a clutch jumper in a double overtime thriller to lift Bishop Gorman over state rival Liberty, 97-95. Also named to the Tarkanian Classic All-Tournament Team, the 6’1” guard is one of the purest shooters in high school, possessing NBA range and the capability of getting a bucket from anywhere on the floor. Between Mobley, Jr. and fellow 2024 guard Jase Richardson, the Gaels have one of the most formidable guard duos in the nation, pound-for-pound.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Mobley, Jr. highlighted the origin of his name ‘Juni’, the process of developing into a premier sharpshooter, his early recruitment update, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2024 prospect John Mobley, Jr., from Columbus, Ohio:
Pro Insight: First things first — do you prefer to be called John Paul Mobley, Jr., Juni, or JPJ? What is your preference?
John Mobley, Jr.: I like to be called John Mobley, Jr.
PI: What is the origin of the name Juni?
JMJ: Well, my Spanish name is Junito from my mom’s side and the short of it is Juni and I'm a junior, so just Juni.
PI: How did you get to where you are today?
JMJ: Just started off with the grind, you know. I used to watch my dad play a little bit. I watched a lot of NBA and then my dad started working with me and then I started to love the game from there.
PI: What was the highest level your dad played?
JMJ: He went to Austria, overseas. He played basketball over there.
PI: Are other athletes in your family?
JMJ: I had an uncle who also played in Austria. He’s 6’8”. I had another uncle, he’s 6’6”, and he played overseas and also coached college basketball.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
JMJ: I played football, my fourth through sixth grade. Then I just decided to choose basketball. Football wasn’t for me.
PI: What position did you play?
JMJ: I played QB. I was nice, but I didn't like it.
PI: For those that aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths and play style?
JMJ: I can shoot from anywhere. I can also handle the ball. I can shoot off the dribble. I can shoot anyway that comes up to mind. I can shoot. I know how to pass, I know how to see my teammates. What I want to work on actually is rebounding and getting to the lane better for paint touches [and] kicking out, but I'm getting better at it.
PI: Obviously, you’re a great shooter overall from long range. How did you get to where you are today in terms of your shooting?
JMJ: I was in the gym since I was…I really took shooting seriously when I was five, 'cause I mean you need a shot to go anywhere, so since I was five being in the gym, getting mad reps up. Then the older you get, the easier it gets to shoot, shoot farther so I just kept doing that. You know, I shoot about like 10 deep shots in three spots while I'm up on the key from the volleyball line. You know when I'm feeling good and working out I shoot from halfcourt, but yeah, that’s what I do.
PI: Who are the shooters/players you model your game after and try to study on film?
JMJ: Stephen Curry and Trae Young. For sure.
PI: What are your current measurements?
JMJ: I went and took a physical the other day. I was 6’1”, so that's a good thing. Hopefully I end up being 6’4”, 6’3”. My dad is 6’4”, so that's what I want.
PI: What are your short term goals?
JMJ: To be known as the best shooter in the country and to just get this state championship.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
JMJ: I like to play video games. I like to hang out. I like to be with my family and yeah, that’s what I like to do.
PI: When you say video games, you mean 2K?
JMJ: Yeah, it is 2K and I am the best 2K player on the team.
PI: That's funny 'cause Jase says he's the best 2K player on the team.
JMJ: Yeah, he's not. Ask him the record (grins and laughs).
PI: Who’s your go-to team for 2K?
JMJ: Curry, Steph, that’s easy. It's not even a team, it's just Steph.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
JMJ: Polo G, for sure. And Lil Baby.
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
JMJ: #blessed. For sure.
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?
JMJ: I’d bring a ball and I can't live without my mom and dad, so I’d bring my mom and dad.
PI: What's the best piece of advice you ever received?
JMJ: Don't ever settle. Always keep grinding. Stay humble and stay blessed.
PI: What’s your recruitment update? Who have you been hearing from the most, lately?
JMJ: Lately, I've been hearing from Minnesota, Ohio State, and Arizona.
PI: What will ultimately be your deciding factors when making your choice?
JMJ: Just keep grinding. Don't let that get to you and just keep working and you be good.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
JMJ: Funny. Hardworking, and ahhh… man, I can't really think of four words. (looks over at some Bishop Gorman coaches)
Coaches: Second best shooter.
JMJ: Don't say it, don't. No…(while the coaching staff is enjoying a friendly chuckle). Best shooter on any floor. And humble.
Coaches: Best shooter on any floor and humble (space is filled with laughter).
JMJ: I mean, it's true though. It’s facts. It's just facts.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
JMJ: Best shooter in the country (flashes a confident smile).