He plays around the basket with an athleticism that is pleasing to watch.
And sometimes on transition plays the hard glint in his eye and his out-of-my-way intensity strikes fear into opposing players.
Atholton's D. J. Chiles, a senior third-year varsity starter, has emerged into a leadership role on the Raiders, who are having their best season.
They are 18-1, ranked 11th and share the county league lead with Mount Hebron. The two teams shared the county title last season and are scheduled to meet on the final day of the regular season, Feb. 23, at Mount Hebron.
Chiles, a Baltimore Sun first-team All-County selection last season, is one of the most respected players in the county.
"He is very, very, very good -- without question a first-team All-County player," Mount Hebron coach Scott Robinson said. "He's a slasher with good body control and excellent around the basket."
Chiles is playing small forward as opposed to a No. 4 position last season. The change has enabled him to play facing the basket sometimes.
"He can hit the three-point shot and play inside or outside," Atholton coach Jim Albert said. "But in our motion offense we look to get him the ball down low."
Chiles, who is 6-foot-3 1/2 and 175 pounds, said he feels more comfortable facing the basket.
"In college I'll have to play a No. 2 guard spot and I feel more comfortable on the wing where I can see everything," he said.
He thinks his best game this season was against Glenelg the first time the teams met. He scored 14 points and had 12 rebounds, nine assists and a couple of steals.
Defense is one facet both Chiles and Albert think he can improve.
"He has great instincts for the ball but his defense can improve. He's an excellent athlete who's going to get better," Albert said. "He's smart. He understands the game. The other kids are looking up to him -- that's something we've needed."
Chiles is averaging 14.4 points and 8.2 rebounds on the most offensively balanced team in the county. The Raiders routinely post three or four players in double figures. Seven times they've had four players in double figures and once they had five. They have had three in double figures all but three games.
Chiles is one of the team's best free-throw shooters and was averaging 81 percent until a recent slump.
He has sprained both his ankles this season and missed two nonleague games because of it.
"D.J. is an unselfish player and fun to be around," Albert said.
Chiles experimented playing point guard during Atholton's summer-league season at Watkins Mills.
"Ball-handling is what I need work on," Chiles said.
Atholton made it to the final four in the summer league but lost while Chiles was at a basketball camp.
He attended two camps last summer -- Metro Index in Pennsylvania and the Eastern Invitational in New Jersey.
Teammate Brian Benden, who lives on the same block in Laurel and attended the Metro Camp with Chiles, thinks that Chiles is playing his best now.
"He's been playing really well the last four games and scoring a lot," he said.
Last season was Atholton's first county championship since 1985. The Raiders hope to make it two straight and then win the regional title. They were knocked out of the regional playoffs by Potomac last season.
If Chiles continues playing the way he has recently, then the Raiders certainly have a chance.