Free Jah! Let the Man Play!

Justin Boyd, Editor

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Jahlil Okafor, a former student athlete at Whitney Young, is currently going involved in a a controversial dilemma with the Philadelphia 76ers. Jahlil was drafted by the 76ers in 2015 in the first round third overall pick. His first two years of play he averaged 14.7 points a game and 5.9 rebounds per game. That’s a decent stat line for the  first two years  in the NBA y but the issue is his stats this season have dipped to only averaging 5.0 points per game and 4.5 rebounds. Those stats are from the two games he has played this 2017-2018 season. There has been about 22 games played already in this season for the NBA and everyone is wondering why the 76ers aren’t playing Jahlil!

Jahlil’s talent and skill set is just as good as any big in the league right now,  if not better. He is capable of improving any team and he’s seeking a buyout from the 76ers because they won’t trade him. Confusing right? If you aren’t going to play a player then why keep him around? That’s big question going around the NBA world. Jahlil has gotten some support from his family and many other NBA players such as, Isaiah Thomas, Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum and many more big time names in the league. His father was seen at one of the 76ers game with a “#FREE JAH” shirt on and the hashtag has been seen all on social media to show the support for Jahlil. His dad only wants his son to play the game that he loves and wishes Philadelphia would just let him go play for someone else.

I recently talked to Jonathan James, assistant coach for the Whitney Young boys basketball team and former coach of Jahlil, on his thoughts on this situation with Jahlil. “I lost a lot of respect for Philly. I know the NBA is a business but the way they’re doing Jah is morally wrong on so many levels. He’s healthy and proven he can produce. Let him play or let him go. #FREEJAH.” I also talked to Miles Reynolds, another former student athlete at Whitney Young and best friend of Jahlil, on his perspective of Jahlil’s situation. “Personally I think what Philly is doing is completely unfair to him and all the hard work he put in this off season. He stayed in philly all summer like they asked of him, changed his diet and went vegan, etc. if they’re not going to play him they need to stop turning down offers from other teams and just trade him. So forget the sixers!” As you can see Jahlil has the support from all over but now the only thing he needs is for the 76ers to make a decision on his play. We hope to see Jahlil on the floor very soon and we all wish him the best.

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The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.
Free Jah! Let the Man Play!