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aamir simms BLUE RIDGE, SR.

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it was such a learning process. it was not me chasing a starting .. position.

09 :: @scrimmageplay

WHEN HE WAS A FRESHMAN at Fluvanna County, Aamir Simms did a lot of outside shooting. As a sophomore at Blue Ridge, Simms spent time with shot-blocking machine Mamadi Diakite who’s now at the University of Virginia. Those practices helped to jump-start Simms’ natural transition into a more post-centric player. Last year, Simms thrived in the paint as he grew into his frame and started throwing his weight around. Now at 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, he’s coming off a year where he averaged 13.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and two blocks per game. With the graduation of forward Scott Spencer, who’s now at Clemson, and Malik Johnson, who’s now at Canisius, Simms is the focal point for a Barons squad looking to make a third-straight trip to Petersburg to play in the VISAA Division 2 championship. But not so fast. “My main goal as a veteran on this team is to not get caught looking so far ahead to March,” Simms said. “It’s not about focusing on winning a state championship yet. It’s about getting the right pieces together for whenever we have to go to war with another team. We’re just trying to get the chemistry on this team to 100 percent. We’ll worry about the other stuff as we come to it.” Interestingly enough, because of his size, Simms is probably the only piece of the puzzle last year that Blue Ridge could not afford to replace. As slippery fast as Johnson was and as accurate and deadly of a shooter as Spencer was, the Barons have depth at guard with Josh Colon, Darius McGhee, Myles Jones and Xavier Kane and all of them are capable of contributing significantly on offense. Simms on the other hand? Well, true doubledouble threats don’t exactly grow on trees. But any team that expects Simms to just camp out in the paint is sorely mistaken. The Blue Ridge senior has a much greater compliment of tools and second-year Barons coach Cade Lemcke is interested in putting a governor on his team’s blue-chip talent. With a deep bench, Blue Ridge runs about as close to a “32-minutes of hell” as there is and that allows Simms to show off his versatility, contributing to the press, bringing the ball up the court at times to break an opposing press, and of course, spotting up from outside which is where his game largely was back in 2013. Suffice it to say, Simms’ game has evolved over the years to allow him to become such a difference maker on so many different spots on the floor. “Watching YaYa Anderson growing up in Fluvanna, that’s what made me want to be a perimeter player, watching how explosive he was off the dribble and how he could shoot threes and get into the paint,” Simms said. “Playing around Mamadie, that made my footwork so much better. He wasn’t the greatest scorer or rebounder, he just had the greatest footwork. It was such a learning process. It was not me chasing a starting position behind him. It was me learning my role.”


Volume 8, Issue 6