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Okmulgee’s Topley Powell – Athlete Spotlight – Presented By Mabrey bank

Sometimes not playing a game can be beneficial to a player’s growth. Take the example of Okmulgee senior Topley Powell. He transferred from Morris to Olmulgee last year but lost a hardship ruling and had to sit out his junior year. But he made the most of it according to his coach Johnny Dreyer.

“Topley used that down time to work on his game and to work out and get stronger. He was able to play for our JV and was a standout player for them. But also during that down time, he really increased his basketball IQ by watching from the sideline. I think that knowledge he gained is one of his strengths now because he thinks more like a coach and has a good idea of what’s going to happen,”

As for Topley, he also sees some pluses to not being able to play varsity ball last year.

“I think I’ve really improved my shooting which I struggled with my freshman and sophomore years so that extra time to devote to that has really helped so far this year.”

The loss of that year has also helped him appreciate the limited time you have to make your mark in high school and he uses that in his leadership of the younger players on the team.

“In practice I don’t let the guys slack off and I tell the younger kids to pay attention and avoid distractions. I think they can tell how important this senior season is to me since I missed a year while they still have years ahead of them. I like showing the younger guys how to do something and they seem to follow my lead.”

Dreyer is seeing how the down time Powell spent is starting to pay off.

“He’s really versatile in that he’s big enough to take it inside and post up or now he can step back and shoot the three if need be. He was a leader even on the bench for us last year and he’ll be even more so this year now that he can play again.”

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