KJ Santos: Versatility and Tradition

KJ Santos 1KJ Santos is a 6’7″ combo guard from Chicago, Illinois. He can really shoot the ball and he is a very versatile basketball player. His length allows him to attack the rim, create for others and strong defensive work. Basketball runs in his veins, as his father José Santos and his uncle played basketball in the Puerto Rico Basketball League (BSN). Also, his mother played basketball at Wichita State University. Also, Santo’s siblings play basketball. As we know, your father was a former basketball player in the Puerto Rico Basketball League. How your father influenced you in basketball? My dad influenced me by his many accomplishments. I want to follow in his footsteps and play for Puerto Rico’s national team.When you started playing basketball?I started to play basketball when I was in kindergarten I was always a guard when I was growing up because I was always small then I grew from 6’1 to 6’7 from 14 to 16 years old.

He played in Geneva before he transferred to Vermont Academy. His former coach of Geneva Phil Ralston said before he transferred about KJ Santos: “I think from what we’ve been able to see so far this summer that K.J. is playing at a new level. He’s got more confidence in his abilities and really matured as a player. K.J.’s a very versatile player. That versatility, along with the size and length for a perimeter player, is what jumps out at you when watching Santos. He is a long, rangy, versatile, ultra-smooth combo guard who handles the ball as a point guard and knocks down shots with a pretty release and range. He knocked down some big shots for us down the stretch. He’s got the potential to play point.

Currently, He plays with Vermont Academy in the 10th grade and with Illinois Stars in AAU. What are your expectations this year at Vermont?To win NEPSAC title. What is your strongest basketball skill and what skills do you need to improve?My best skill is shooting and I want to improve on getting stronger physically.How privileged are you to be in the top players of the class 2016 in USA? And what has been the key for your success? My key to success was how hard I work. I am constantly in the gym working on my weaknesses.What have been your greatest achievement in basketball? My greatest achievement is getting college offers. West Virginia, Rhode Island, DePaul, Illinois-Chicago, Army, Villanova, Indiana, Xavier, Iowa and Fairfield have showed interest on KJ Santos.Assistant coach of Illinois Stars, Coach Ciepierski said: “KJ Santos is Michael Carter Williams with a jump shot. Plain and simple.”

Santos was part of Puerto Rican U16 National Team that played this year in CentroBasket at Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico reached the 2nd place, obtaining the silver medal in this CentroBasket. Although KJ Santos was part of the team, he was not able to play because he did not have the passport. Are you going to play in next international tournament for Puerto Rico? Did you get your passport?Yes, I got my passport I’ll be with U17 going to Dubai and then I’ll play U18 also. What are your future plans? For my future I want to finish college, obtain a degree, and work hard at my chosen profession.¿Could you give some words to the fans of Boricuas en el Basket? I know Puerto Rico loves basketball, so many good players, and deep tradition. I have a lot to learn. I am so excited.

Written By: José Castro / https://twitter.com/castroj1pr

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