Tuesday, September 13, 2016

AugBball on the Recruiting Trail: TJ Massenburg - 6'9" C, Shiloh HS

"It was a lot of fun." So says 6'9" senior center TJ Massenburg, a young man who carefully chooses his words, about last weekend's official visit to Middle Tennessee State.

TJ stars for Shiloh High School, but he still counts as an "Augusta guy"  in my book after helping lead the GAIS Eagles homeschool team to finishes of 7th and 3rd at the homeschool national championships during his 8th and 9th grade seasons.

Here's a quick flashback to TJ's 8th grade season with the Eagles:

Despite only being allowed by the GHSA to play one semester at Shiloh during the last two seasons, Massenburg's impact on the court has now been felt statewide and beyond, as GHSA hoops expert Kyle Sandy explained in the interview above. Sandy nails his evaluation of TJ, from his ability to block shots (without fouling, I'll add) and grab tough rebounds, to his impressive shooting range.

Massenburg is our area's most highly recruited senior. As Sandy notes, he averaged 11 points and 12 rebounds at Shiloh last season, and he proved he belongs with the best big men in the state, even the country, while excelling for the Southern Stampede's Nike travel team during the spring and summer.

Here are some highlights of TJ playing with the Stampede in the 2016 Nike Youth Invitational Tournament in July in Augusta:

Listen to Sandy discuss TJ's play at Shiloh and on the AAU circuit and hear his opinion about how he compares to Georgia's best inside players above. And get the scoop on his recent visit, his upcoming visits, and other information from TJ himself in this written interview:

Chad: Was your visit to Middle Tennessee State your first official visit?

TJ: Yes that was my first visit.

Chad: Give me a brief timeline. Like the 6-8 main things you did.

TJ: Here's the timeline -
1) After we checked in to the hotel they took us to eat breakfast.
2) Then they took me on a tour of the campus. I met the president of the school, the head of the engineering department, and the rest of the staff. 
3) They showed me the arena locker room and the film room. 
4)Then I watch them weight training.
5) After that, coach took me to his house where they were having a bbq. 
6) Then I hung out with the team for a while. 
7) They showed me the apartments the player stay in.

Chad: You met the head of the engineering department. Do you still want to be an engineer, and did you make that clear to the coaches before your visit? I think that is a great choice for a major. Why do you want to study engineering?

TJ: Yes I still want to be an engineer. I made that very clear to them. I want to study engineering because I like to work with my hands and I'm good in math and science too.

Chad: Were the Middle Tennessee State coaches impressed that you already know what you want to study and that you have chosen such an academically rigorous subject? (I would be!)

TJ: Yes they were impressed.

Chad: Which aspect of the game do you enjoy the most? And is there a particular skill that you are working on that you think should be added to my list?

TJ:  I'm improving my ball handling.

Chad: Who is your favorite player and what do you like about him?

TJ: I like KD because he plays the way I want to play.

Chad: Which colleges are you scheduled to visit next?

TJ: Temple and James Madison. And maybe SMU.

Chad: Last question. Tell me about how much you are looking forward to the high school season, your first full high school season in a couple years.

TJ: We lost about 6 seniors, so there's a lot of pressure for me to play well this year.

Chad: You'll handle that pressure like a champ. You always have, TJ.

***Special note***
Thank you to the GHSA expert, Kyle Sandy, for talking to me (at the top of the post) about TJ. Follow him here:

@KyleSandy355 - Twitter
@sandysspiel - Facebook

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