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Refuse to be Outworked, an Exclusive 1 on 1 Interview with Jahnai Dunkley.



Welcome to The Maple Minute! Today, we had the pleasure of interviewing Jahnai Dunkley, a 6'8 do-it-all wing out of Hamilton, ON. Jahnai has had a remarkable journey through his high school career, playing for both Orangeville Prep and Lincoln Prep. Let's dive into his experiences, highlights, and challenges along the way.


 

Can you tell us about your journey through high school basketball, playing for both Orangeville Prep and Lincoln Prep? What were some of the highlights and challenges you faced along the way?


"Honestly, my journey was good. Actually, I enjoyed playing for both Orangeville and Lincoln Prep because of the practice and the training. There were some good highlights, like for example, in practice, I was on a fast break and went up for a dunk, and my shoulder hit the backboard. There were also some challenges, like I just got to their team, so me trying to get used to what they would do in practice was challenging, even trying to be a leader because that’s a very big role. But along the way, I adjusted to everything."


Being the twin brother of Jalik Dunkley, who has received a lot of attention, how has that dynamic influenced your own path in basketball? And how do you differentiate yourself as a player?


"I think my brother has gotten more attention, but it’s something I can’t be mad at. It kinda influenced me to push myself harder than ever. What differentiates myself as a basketball player is the way how I carry myself and the drive I have to put in the work in the gym. I’m a man of God, so I think that’s what makes me different."


You’re currently playing AAU with AZ Unity out of Arizona. How has this experience impacted your game and what skills or aspects of your game have you been focusing on improving during this time?


"AZ Unity was a great experience because I got to play in Arizona, so everything was kind of different. The experience impacted my game because I was playing against different talents, which made it a good experience. I’ve been working on my handles, my jump shot, getting to my spots on the court, finishing strong around the rim, and having more patience handling the rock and scanning the court better."


With your impressive athleticism and frame, you certainly pass the eye test for a Division I prospect. What are your aspirations for playing at the collegiate level, and what kind of program are you looking to contribute to?


"I would say I have high aspirations for college ball, but I wouldn’t set my mind on only one thing right now. I’m a very competitive person, and I just want to show that I can compete at the highest level of college basketball, which would be Division 1 basketball. I’m a really competitive person, so being considered as the underdog only fuels me to compete more."


Despite perhaps being seen as an “afterthought” by some, what do you believe sets you apart as a player, and how do you plan to showcase your talents to potential college programs moving forward?


"My work ethic and motor. I know there might be other players that have more skills than me, but I haven’t seen a player outwork me on the court, out hustle me on the court, or jump higher than me on the court."


 

It has been truly insightful to hear about Jahnai Dunkley's journey in high school basketball. From navigating different teams to overcoming challenges and striving for excellence, Jahnai's dedication and passion for the game shine through. As he continues to hone his skills with AZ Unity and sets his sights on collegiate basketball, we look forward to witnessing his future success. Jahnai's resilience, work ethic, and unwavering determination serve as an inspiration to aspiring athletes everywhere.


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