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February 3, 2013

Around the Horn with Whittier basketball star Justin Reyes

When it comes to rocking the rims with highlight film dunks, few in the area have ever done it like Whittier senior Justin Reyes.

The 6-2 1/2, 175-pounder from Haverhill says he can almost touch the top of the square on the backboard, which is 11 feet, 6 inches.

That seems about right judging by his high-wire act in a win over Greater Lawrence Tech in December.

He and Whittier are flying high with a 12-2 record heading into the weekend.

With a 20.5-points-a-game scoring average, Reyes is a strong contender for the area scoring title.

He’d be the first Wildcat to do it since Vic Jones averaged an amazing 30.7 points in 1978. No Whittier player has averaged more than 20 points since Seth Dobson in 1994.

In this week’s Around the Horn, Reyes talked about his prodigious leaping ability, the season and his football debut this fall.

How many dunks do you have this year? “Around 10.”

When did you dunk for the first time? “Junior year I got a dunk vs. Lynn Tech. I first was able to dunk between sophomore and junior years.”

What are your emotions when you are about to throw one down? “The first thing that pops in my mind is I’m going to miss! It gives me a lot of energy to play harder.”

What’s your best dunk? “A one-hander and I bring it back far ... my whole arm extended behind my head.”

Why didn’t you play your freshman year? “I had a broken foot from playing basketball at the Haverhill Boys and Girls Club. So I wasn’t able to go out. I was just an average player then.”

How did you improve so much? “I was just very motivated to become a better player.”

What’s your vertical leap? “I can touch almost the top of the box on the backboard.”

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