Whether posting up or roaming the perimeter, Renardo Sidney has the ability to create bedlam for opponents.
"Not to go NBA comparison, but he is very Rasheed Wallace-like as far as skill level," said Chris Rivers, Reebok's director of basketball sports marketing. "As far as going to the post inside, short corner, 15-foot, step inside, and hitting a big three. He's also a very big passer."
Sidney, at 6-foot-10, 250 pounds, is a highlight clip waiting to be cued up. Many believe the rising senior power forward at Los Angeles Fairfax High is the most talented player on the court at this week's Reebok All-American camp at Philadelphia University.
With the ability to dribble like a point guard, Sidney also dunks as if he were Dwight Howard and shoots three-pointers with ease.
As a result, the Rivals.com recruiting service lists the native of Jackson, Miss., as the nation's fourth-ranked prospect in the Class of 2009. Scout.com rates him as the fifth-best senior.
Sidney did nothing to contradict his lofty ranking yesterday.
He finished with 23 points, four rebounds and two assists to lead team Answer XII past team Allen Iverson, 82-79, in a camp opener. Sidney shot 10 of 14 from the field, including 2 of 3 from three-point range.
While scoring is fine, Sidney prefers assists over baskets.
"I think after Magic Johnson, I have the best no-look pass for a big man ever," he said. "I just do it for no reason. It will be a two-on-one [fastbreak], and I will just do a no-look."
For much of his career, his no-look passes have come with numerous college recruiters watching from the stands.
Sidney said he had narrowed his list of potential destinations to the University of Southern California, Texas, Arizona State, Memphis, and Texas A&M.
His stay in college could be short, though. Sidney does not hide his desire to enter the NBA draft in 2010.
"If I just go to college and do what I'm supposed to do, I'll be out of there in one year," he said. "That's my goal."
Playing in the NBA wasn't his goal six years ago. Back then, Sidney split time at quarterback, tight end, defensive end and wide receiver in youth football.
"In the sixth grade, I was training to be a football player," he said. "My dad [Renardo Sidney Sr.] had me lifting weights, running routes and sprinting like all football players do."
One day as a seventh grader, just to break up the routine, he and his father participated in a game of basketball. That's when they realized it was his best sport.
Though a novice, Sidney displayed shooting range, dribbling skills, and an ability to dunk.
"So after that football season, I decided to play basketball," he said. "I found out that I was good at it, and I just took it from there."
His pursuit of basketball has taken him to three high schools in three years.
He had hoped to start his high school career at Piney Woods School (Miss.) only to be ruled ineligible by the Mississippi High School Activities Association. Sidney said the governing body wouldn't allow him to participate because he lived out of Piney Woods' school zone, and he did not want to play for the school in the zone in which he lived.
"So we said that we're going to move to California," Sidney said.
Looking to maximize his exposure, he enrolled at Lakewood Artesia in Southern California as a sophomore. That season, he led the team to the state Division III championship. In September, he transferred to Fairfax, a California Division I powerhouse.
Sidney said he left Lakewood because it graduated 12 seniors from the state championship squad.
"I was just going to be stuck with nobody," he said. "So I had to figure out what school in California had players that I would be around that would help me win state and city titles. And it was Fairfax. That's why I went to Fairfax."
While unable to win the Los Angeles and state titles, Sidney still had a successful junior campaign. He averaged 27.8 points, 14.2 rebounds and 6 assists en route to leading the Lions to a 33-6 record.
If there's a knock on him, it's his conditioning.
"When he's in shape, committed and focused, there is no question that he is one of the top two or three guys in the class," said Dave Telep, Scout.com's national basketball recruiting analyst.