Seventh Woods is still growing

ainelson@ thestate.comOctober 13, 2013 

Hammond High School's Seventh Woods makes his way around Cardinal Newman's John Ragin at Cardinal Newman High School.

C. ALUKA BERRY — caberry@thestate.com Buy Photo

Any predictions about Seventh Woods’ basketball career are at least partly uninformed. Even as prognosticators assess his basketball knowledge, evaluate his ball-handling skills and critique his abilities as a defender, no one has seen the full picture of how good the 14-year-old can be in a few years.

The 6-foot-2 teenager, possibly due for another growth spurt in a matter of months, has not begun to lift weights. He’s more likely to gobble Skittles — his favorite pregame snack — than to guzzle a protein shake. No one has calculated his muscle mass, his VO2 max or his vertical leap.

His potential is yet unquantifiable.

“That’s the thing about it that’s crazy,” said Marseilles Brown, owner of Hoops and Life Basketball Training, who works with Woods twice a week.

“There’s no telling what kind of player he can be as his body matures,” Brown said.

The lean point guard also will probably get much stronger, but for now Woods’ strength training includes only body weight resistance exercises. The plan is to forestall weight lifting to avoid hampering any impending growth spurt.

“I think he still has some more growing to do. That’s the unknown. A lot of people are wowed at his talent and his skill level right now and the things that he can do,” said Woods’ AAU coach, Major Williamson of the Carolina Wolves. “As he gets a little bit older, and he starts to do any type of weight lifting, he’s going to, quite naturally, get a bit bigger. To what degree is yet to be determined.”

Parents Louis and Monica Woods chose not to have height projections done. They know that Woods’ paternal grandmother’s side of the family is “kind of tall” and that the tallest of their four older sons is 6-3.

“We don’t really need to get that extra information. We just said what will be, will be, and we’re just enjoying watching him grow up,” Louis Woods said.

Williamson said “seeing how things pan out,” is half the fun of the process.

“You can make the numbers do whatever you want them to do, but I’ve always been a fan of putting them in the box and see how they will do,” Williamson said.

For now, it is enough to say that Woods is a 6-2, 175-pound, five-position phenom. Any improvement on that is a bonus.

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