Jefferson’s improving, Avila ready to reach new heights

While others were resting Edson Avila was working.

The Thomas Jefferson forward went to an open court in between games with his New Heights AAU team at Hoops in the Sun in Orchard Beach. There he went through the footwork of a serious of post moves, drop step, facing up and driving and, up and under. Most of them ended in an emphatic jam.

The potential for the 6-foot-10 Bronx native is easy to see. He runs the floor well, can block shots and makes rebounding look effortless. Jumping up gracefully with his arms extended he plucks a ball out of the air or uses is wing span and quickness to track down long rebounds. Yet for someone with so much natural physical ability, he

On the offensive end is where Avila’s game needs to grow. He averaged 3.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in PSAL play for Jefferson after transferring from Rice. He felt the CHSAA power wasn’t improving him enough so he chose to enter arguably the best division in the PSAL by hooking on with the Orange Wave. Avila didn’t see much action on a talented veteran team that went to the PSAL Class AA semifinals. His mobility and ability to finish with both hands and the rim gives him the potential to be a dominant big man for years to come. Consider that he is making it a point to also work on his dunking.

What Avila, who spent time with the Gauchos and Juice All Stars, was looking for in an AAU program he found at New Heights. He said they showed in a sense of family and are pushing him to get better and on off the court. He played in his first tournament with its 16U team in July when they traveled to Las Vegas for the Adidas Super 64 tournament. They made the quarterfinals.

Shapiro said the Avila who could grow to just over 7-feet tall, is very coachable and is thriving to improve his game. He has found a home with New Heights just like he has at Jefferson.

And going places with his game.

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