Frazier hopes loyalty inspires more recruits

There a lot of little things to know about Georgia’s first basketball commit for 2013, point guard J.J. Frazier (Ludowici, Ga. /Faith Baptist Christian). He is often called “little,” as he stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 145 pounds. He is from a little school, in a little town and was little-known before committing to the Bulldogs three weeks ago.

But two things that should never be called little are his game and his loyalty. Faith Baptist Christian coach Matthew Sellars appreciates both.

“Loyalty is one of my biggest things with kids,” Sellars said. “He has had offers to go play other places -- other prep schools and bigger AAU programs. But he is sticking it out with the South Georgia Kings and he is sticking it out with us. He could go play at a top-50 program, but he would rather stay with us since we have been there with him and he realizes that. He is faithful to our program, he talks it up, he talks me up usually -- he is just a loyal kid. That is one of the biggest qualities for me in a player.”

Sellars hasn’t had to worry about his star player being recruited away. Apparently, Mark Fox won’t have to either.

“Actually there have been other colleges that are still calling about him because he isn’t technically signed,” Sellars said. “He is just like, ‘Man, I am a Dawg. I wish they would leave me alone.’ I enjoy that because it is a kid giving his word and sticking to it, and that is a lot. If he knows that at 16 years old, then the rest of life will be easy for him.”

The South Georgia Kings are coached by Jessie Fleming, who also appreciates Frazier’s dedication.

“That is the statement J.J. was trying to make to people,” Fleming said. “He basically said, ‘I am little country boy from a little country town, and boom, here I am. I don’t have to fly to Las Vegas or do all the stuff people are trying to promote. All I have to do is, wherever Jessie takes me, I get it in.’ And that is what he does, he gets it in. He doesn’t care who is out there. He would score a hundred on his grandma if she was out there.”

Fleming has worked with Frazier for a long time and knows the young point guard’s game well.

“He’d rather shoot a jump shot than a layup,” Fleming said. “He is over 90 percent from the free throw line and he shoots 50, 60 percent from the three-point line. He has only been 16 a couple months. He could really be a 2014 guy.”

Despite his youth, Frazier is averaging 27 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds per game for the Crusaders.

He hopes he can do the same for the Bulldogs.

“I was talking to coach Stacey Palmore about it when he started recruiting me and he said they are struggling right now,” Frazier said. “He and Coach Fox feel that with all the talent in the state of Georgia, if everybody just stays home we could win the championship. I didn’t want to go that far from home. My dream was to become a Georgia Bulldog.”

The state of Georgia is always loaded with basketball talent, and Frazier says he hopes his loyalty rubs off on other players.

“A lot of kids in Georgia know me and a lot of good basketball players that they are recruiting do, too,” Frazier said. “I hope that I can pull in some of the other kids from the state of Georgia to play with me.”

Frazier isn’t loyal out of insecurity. In fact he is quite confident in his abilities.

“I am not a score-first point guard. I feel like I am a pure point guard, but when my team needs me to go get 35 points, I go score,” he said. “I am lightning in the open floor. I feel like I am in the top 50 to 75 players in the nation, but since I am 5-9, 145 pounds, people are just not going to recognize me like that. I feel like I am one of the top kids in the country. I play at a high level every night.”

Despite the perceived lack of respect, Frazier says he doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder.

“That is just their opinions; I just go out there and play,” Frazier said. “A chip is not always a good thing to have because you can put too much pressure on yourself. I am really good at what I do and Coach Fox knows this. He trusts my game enough to play me in the SEC, where all the good competition is.”

As he recounted the story of committing to Georgia, Frazier chuckled.

“Fox offered me on a Wednesday, Feb. 8, and I committed on that Friday,” he said. “I called him and let him know that since I am a Georgia boy, have been here all my life, am a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs and a fan of Coach Fox, that it wasn’t really a hard decision for me to commit to the University of Georgia. I said I love being a Dawg and I want to help them win so I will accept the offer, become a Georgia Bulldog and sign in November.”

What was Fox’s reaction?

“He said it was one of the happiest days of his life.”