READING, Pa. — The college recruiting process continues to involve kids who are younger and younger. In fact, it is no longer a surprise when a kid considered a future big-time prospect has a scholarship offer or two before entering high school.
One player who is regarded amongst the best of the rising freshmen forwards in the nation is Joe Hampton of Bowie, Md.
A 6-foot-6, 220-pound four man who is set to attend DeMatha (MD), Hampton was one of the rising freshmen competing at Hoop Group Future All-American Camp. While there, he took the time to speak with Terps Insider.
“This is a good experience,” Hampton said of the camp. “It gets to let me know what I’m going against and what I can compete with and show what I got.”
Hampton went on to talk about his expectations for his freshman season of high school ball.
“I’m expecting to be like a three, four, get my jump shot right,” Hampton said.
Although the DeMatha is always loaded with talent, Hampton expect to do more than just be a member of the varsity team there.
“I will be starting on varsity,” Hampton said, adding that it is his understanding that he will for sure be starting.
Hampton shorted his thoughts on what it means for him to do that at an elite program like DeMatha.
“It’s a big accomplishment,” Hampton said. “I always wanted to start on a high-level basketball team and with a lot great players enrolled there, it’s a good accomplishment.”
The class of 2016 prospect talked a bit more about why he feels DeMatha fits him so well.
“Well I think DeMatha is a great fit for me because they know what I need to work on and they wanna help me,” Hampton said, “and they want me to take the place of Jerami Grant [who is] a rising freshman going to Syracuse and that is big . . . for me.”
Hampton shed some light on the type of player that he is on the hardwood, beginning with the strongest part of his game.
“Facing the basket,” Hampton said. “I can put the ball on the floor. I can shoot a midrange jump shot, and I can always have my back to the basket.”
The big listed his right hand as the weakest part of his game and talked about what he is doing to work on that.
“Actually dribbling, shooting layups with my right hand,” Hampton said. “Just [doing] drills.”
Hampton named Greg Monroe, a former Georgetown Hoya and current Detroit Piston, as the player he compares his game to and explained why that is.
“Because he’s a lefty [and] . . . I do the same things he could,” Hampton said. “So, it’s a lot we can [both] do.”
The tough frontcourt player, who lists himself as a four man, talked about whether he has received any college interest at this early stage of his basketball career.
“Not really. Well, I have a lot of letters,” Hampton said, adding that no schools have started to actively recruit him.
Hampton, who said he has not grown up rooting for any particular college, shared his thoughts on Maryland.
“Actually, I have a lot of connections with the University of Maryland,” Hampton said. “I actually like the school and I’m looking forward to seeing what they [have to offer].”
The connections that Hampton referenced relate to the high-profile AAU program he is a part of, DC Assault.
“Well actually Curtis Malone is a great friend of the head coach of Maryland . . . Curtis Malone is the owner of our AAU team and we talk a lot,” Hampton said.
As for that Maryland head coach, Hampton provided his thoughts on Mark Turgeon.
“He’s a great coach,” Hampton said. “He knows how to run a program and keep the team in check, and it’s a very organized program.”
Hampton, who said he lives 10 minutes from College Park, Md., also discussed Maryland’s style of play.
“I watched them play. Sometimes they get a little shaky, but they keep their composure and they bring theirselves back in the game,” Hampton said.