SURREY â€” By the time they start high school, most basketball players are getting used to dribbling with their head up or learning the pick and roll, but Amrit Bassi is getting ready to dunk.
The Grade 7 student at Coyote Creek Elementary, who stands six-foot-one, has a vertical jump of more than four feet and is inches away from being able to throw down a basketball.
Bassi said he does nothing special to make himself jump higher and that his leap is simply natural ability.
Next year, he will be attending Fleetwood Park Secondary and is looking forward to continuing the success of the school’s basketball program.
The Dragons won their first senior boys basketball banner earlier this month at Langley Events Centre.
Bassi, who plays in the American Athletics Union with Drive Basketball, was debating whether to attend the same school as his older siblings, or go to a school with some of his friends from the Drive program.
"Earlier in the year, I was thinking about going to NorthDelta or one of the other schools with my teammates, but then I thought Fleetwood (would be) the best decision because I know most of the kids there and the coaches know me and my brothers," he said.
The 12-year-old, who has dunked four times on a shorter hoop in elementary school games this season, has been playing basketball with Drive since he was in Grade 4, and plays basketball in the U.S. every weekend of the AAU season.
(Story continues below video clip of Amrit Bassi on the basketball court)
Pasha Bains, Drive’s co-founder, said he’s excited for what the future holds for Bassi.
"I knew he was going to be good because he’s got older brothers who play and he’s mature already, but the way that he walked was really funny. He still does walk like that. He walks on his toes with a little bounce," said Bains. "They used to say that’s the next Pasha (Bains) right there because I used to walk like that."
Bains said attracting attention from NCAA Division 1 schools is a dream for some players, but it is a realistic goal for Bassi, who is one of the best Grade 7 players he has ever seen.
"I think he’s surpassed how good we thought he was going to be at this point," added Bains, Canada’s 1998 high school player of the year.