Overlooked Florida PG leads nation at all levels with unique talent: Drawing charges

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Thomas Ozuna is a starting point guard for Deltona (Fla.) Pine Ridge High. At a stocky 5-foot-8, Ozuna doesn't stand out in any particular way. He's fast, but not blazing fast. He's tough, but often too small to make a huge difference in the blocks.

Pine Ridge point guard Thomas Ozuna — Pine Ridge Basketball
Pine Ridge point guard Thomas Ozuna — Pine Ridge Basketball

Yet there is something that Ozuna does better than anyone else, maybe at any level of basketball: He takes an absolute ton of offensive charges. As reported by the Orlando Sentinel using statistics from MaxPreps.com, Ozuna leads the entire nation in taking charges from opponents, earning an astounding 82 offensive fouls from foes over the course of just 26 games.

Considering the fact that some teams don't even consider charges drawn to be a significant enough statistic to comprehensively track them, Ozuna's commitment on the defensive end is incredibly impressive.

Do the math and one quickly learns that Ozuna averages more than three received charges per game. To put that in perspective, Anderson Varejao was the top charge drawer in the NBA during the 2006-07 season (the last campaign for which Prep Rally could find such data on the NBA statistical analysis site 82games.com) when the Cavaliers big man drew 99 during the regular season. Compare the two players' totals, and one quickly learns that Ozuna averages approximately two additional charges per game.

Ozuna's unique individual strength really is astounding, particularly when one considers his other statistical input in a game. The senior averages just 3.6 points, 2.9 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game for Pine Ridge.

And, as if to make the senior's anomalous contributions even more bizarre, consider this: The Sentinel reported that Ozuna drew only one charge during his entire junior season. In 2011-12 he has earned all but 11 of the charges taken by his entire team.

While Ozuna's ability to draw offensive fouls could be influenced by any number of factors his coach told the Sentinel that there was one clear reason for the senior's rather unique ability: His overarching bravery on the court.

"He's the toughest kid in America," Pine Ridge boys basketball coach Will Bakanowsky told the Sentinel. "He steps up and takes the full impact every time."

In doing so, Ozuna helps his team and, now, helps make a rather unique name for himself for some time to come.

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