Ryan Klassen | Writer
BRYANT Mocaby is stronger and more physical than most, showing the crowd at the KC Classic why he has gained so much interest from schools in recent weeks.
This past weekend, Kansas Pray N Play shooting guard Bryant Mocaby showcased his entire skillset at Hardwood Events KC Classic at the Sports Pavilion in Lawrence, Kansas. When asked if playing physically came naturally to him he said, “On defense it’s always been there. It comes naturally and it gets physical down there [under the rim], so I have always had to play to that.”
His defense is tight and physical. He bodies players his size, or uses his length to suffocate and clamp the smaller, quicker guards. Mocaby would often force the ball handler into the corner, effectively using the baseline or other out-of-bounds lines as a second or third defender. He can stop a fast break by just getting in front of the movement and forcing a pick-up, allowing the rest of the defense to catch up.
ON the offensive front, Mocaby has really worked to transition his game from passive to aggressive. “I’ve always had a long range shot but I’ve never really went for it because I played very passive. Now that I’ve been really playing more aggressive on offense and carried more confidence in my shot, it’s been falling a lot more.”
This aggressive mindset has made him a prolific shooter. Whether he had an open three-pointer or a contested mid-range jumper, the confidence in his shot was there. From the very first game of the tournament he showed that he can drain the long ball from a shooter’s position with his feet set. He also displayed ability to hit the three on the run after a screen for a quick catch-and-shoot.
In his opinion, Mocaby could improve on his ball handling skills to give him more of an edge. Despite not being a strong ball handler, he still finds opportunities to score outside of his catch-and-shoot play style. His size and physicality allow him to body bigger defenders under the rim and go up strong against contact. On day two of the event, Mocaby received a pass from beyond the arc, made one quick feint to the right, and then broke left towards the rim. Leaving his defender behind him, he picked up his dribble, switched to his right hand, and violently threw down a dunk on the jumping defender under the rim. This play was a true visual of Mocaby’s physical strength as he was able to finish the dunk through mid-air contact. It also displayed the obvious development of his confidence in his offensive game.
MOCABY tries to model his defense after NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Kawhi Leonard, for his quiet yet unrelenting demeanor. He looks to Oklahoma City Thunder point guard, Russell Westbrook for his game-time mindset, “He just plays so hard, every motion is fun with him.”
Mocaby has gained interest from a number of Division II programs and an official offer from Washburn in Topeka, Kansas. Going into his senior year of high school, Mocaby’s big goal is to reach state for the first time before graduation.
Mocaby is 6’5” and currently attends Goddard High School located in Goddard, Kansas.