Photo credit:Seattle Times / Cliff DesPeaux
Spoke with Jackson High senior guard Brett Kingma (above, middle) last night who confirmed Washington offered him a scholarship.
According to Dawgman.com, UW is one of a dozen schools that’s extended an offer to the 6-foot-1, 170-pound guard from Mill Creek. The others: Oregon, Seattle University, Brigham Young, Pepperdine, Colorado, Colorado State, Vanderbilt, Portland, Portland State and Eastern Washington.
Kingma plans to narrow his list to five schools in late August. He wants to take his official visits in September, announce a decision October 1 and sign a scholarship in November during the early signing period.
His older sister Kristi is a junior on UW’s women’s basketball team and he admitted the Huskies are among his favorites. Still, Kingma stopped short of saying they’re No. 1 on his list.
He took an unofficial trip to Washington Monday and visited Oregon Tuesday.
Despite averaging 25 points, four steals and four assists per game as a junior last season and helping Jackson High to the Class 4A title game, Kingma has flown under the recruiting radar. Scout.com ranks him as a two-star recruit and he falls outside of Rivals.com top 150 players.
After strong performances with the Friends of Hoop AAU team at the Fab 48 in Las Vegas and the Desert Duel in Phoenix, the offers began rolling in.
Here’s most of the interview with Kingma.
(Sounds like you’ve had an interesting summer.) “I’ve always had big dreams of being wanted by the hometown school and Oregon and all the Northwest schools and schools across the country. So I’ve been working all of these years. Mid-major schools had taken an interest in me and so I kind of thought coming into July I’d get a couple of bigger ones like a Wazzu or something and then I’d have some mid-majors to decide from.
“I didn’t think I played that well in Vegas and Phoenix. People said I played really well and showed that I can do some things. I’m pretty critical of myself. When I don’t make every shot, I kind of get mad. So I didn’t think I played that well, but according to what coaches said they thought I played really well and showed that I really didn’t have a weakness and that I could do everything.
“Coaches started calling after Phoenix and it got pretty crazy just because I didn’t know what to expect. Normally after tournaments I get maybe a call or two and they would just say we’re interested. They wouldn’t offer me. So then getting all of these major offers, it was kind of like wow because I really didn’t think I did too much different from what I’ve done before. But I just showed that I could do it against the top players in the nation and do it game in and game out all summer.
“When I’m laying in bed at night and I’m thinking about it, it’s kind of like a dream just because growing up this is what I wanted to happen. So now that it’s in front of me, it really hasn’t soaked in even yet. In a few weeks hopefully it soaks in a little bit and then I can start paring down my list a little bit.”
(What did the UW coaches say to you after the Vegas and Phoenix tournaments?) “He (Lorenzo Romar) said he always wanted me to be a Husky, but he had to put his emotions aside. I’ve known him since the eighth grade and my sister goes there and I’m down there a lot. We’re pretty close. He said he had to put his emotions aside and look at it from a business standpoint, so that’s why he hadn’t offered me before.
“He was like I’m not 100 percent you can do everything at the Pac-10 level. He said watching me all summer I improved a ton in every area. He said I was really impressive and I haven’t even yet played with other guys that can score at will, like extremely well. I’ve played with guys that are solid and definitely really, really good players. But I haven’t played with guys yet that can score at the high level where they’ll take the other team’s top defender.
“He (Romar) just said he could see me in his system. He said every game even when they try to stop you, you’re still going off. And people are saying I don’t think you can do it the next game and you kept doing it. You kept proving you can score against the top people in the nation. He said that’s what happened with Isaiah (Thomas). He kept scoring against the best players in the nation and they ended up wanting Isaiah and got him.
“He just said the fact that I can score and I can also play the point guard, he didn’t know I could do that before. He said I showed that in Vegas and Phoenix. He said my feet were quick. They weren’t lightening quick and I wasn’t a jet, but he said I could run the floor, push the ball and that I had a burst of speed that he liked. And that I could play defense and not get burned and stay in front and make stuff happen on defense. He said with strength I’ll get better because my body hasn’t really matured too much yet. He said if I can work on that, I can be a really good player there.”
(Why didn’t you play point guard more when you were younger and what happened this summer that caused your breakout?) “I’ve always liked to play point guard. I’ve been more comfortable at the point, but I’ve had guys on my teams that I’ve played with that have been strictly point guards. They’ve grown up being point guards so I played the off guard position because I can play both. Most coaches that I’ve played for, even my high school coaches and (Friends of Hoop coach Jim Marsh) have said if I get it, I can go because I have the point-guard skills. Where some of the other guys can’t play both positions and they have to play the point, he said you can play the off guard also so I just want you to get down the court.
“In Vegas and Phoenix I felt like I had to bring the ball up a little bit more because these defenders were wearing out our point guards. I’ve felt like I’ve had the skills all along to play point guard. I’ve really actually been working on my ball handling a ton and gotten a lot better. I feel like I can make smart decisions, but to show that I can do it against guys that were going to harass me full court and that were Division I players that’s what coaches said impressed them the most.”
(How do you plan to make a decision on a school?) “What I’ve told people is I plan on for the next couple of weeks settling back in and being a kid because this is kind of my last summer. Most kids have the summer after their senior year to do stuff, but I’ll be in summer school so this is kind of my last year.
“I’m going to go to Lake Chelan with my family and just kind of get away and try to let my emotions settle down a little bit and not get too excited about anything. But taking phone calls and e-mails and talking to people. Probably cut my list to five by the middle to end of August. Schedule some official visits at the time and then take those. I plan on making a decision by October 1 and then I’ll for sure sign in early November. I just want to try to decide in early October.”
(Is it presumptuous to assume UW is a favorite because your sister plays there?) “Yeah they’re definitely among the favorites. I wouldn’t say I have a clear leader right now, but they’re as high as any other school.”
(Do you plan to talk to Kristi during this process?) “She said she’d love for me to be a Husky just because we’re a really close family. But she and the rest of my family said they want to make sure that I do what’s best for me because it’s my future. They said if you want to be a Husky, we’d love it. We would never doubt that decision or anything. But they said we’re going to encourage you to make the right decision. If you choose Washington, then great. And if you choose somewhere else, we’ll still be 100 percent supportive.”
(Have you thought about the potential class that may come together at Washington?) “I’ve heard people talk about the 2011 class for a lot of years now since Tony (Wroten) was labeled as the young phenom. He’s grown up as the face of Seattle high school basketball. Just to be given the opportunity to possibly be in the same class as him, Jabari Brown from Oakland and Angelo Chol or whoever they want – they’re all top prospects and have been top prospects for awhile. It’s just cool because I haven’t been in the rankings so far. Just to be able to hear that they want me and they want me in a group with those guys it’s an honor to know that a coach sees value in you and that you could potentially be a part of one of the best classes in UW history. It’s pretty exciting.”
(Have you played with Wroten?) “I’ve played against him about 15 games. I’ve never played with him.”
(Did you play him in high school?) “We haven’t played against each other in a regular season high school game, but we played against each other in high school fall leagues and spring leagues and AAU since eighth grade. It’s always fun. It’s a good challenge whenever we play them. I like it.”
(You’re with Friends of Hoop, right?) “Yeah. And we didn’t play Rotary this summer. That was kind of different. We normally play each other, but we didn’t run into them because they weren’t local at all.”
(Who are you going to enlist to help you make this decision?) Definitely my parents, my sister, my little brother. He’s my biggest fan out of anyone that I know. He’s always talking about me to other people. When he hears about my offers, he’s like well duh, where have these people been? I want to make sure that it’s okay with him because he’s my best friend. Then I want to talk to Gary Gardner. He’s a former Husky. I worked out with him. He’s a really, really close family friend and he played at that level and he knows the coaches at UW very well. Then just my friends to just see what they think. I’m going to try to take all that they say and not make a decision based on what they say, but weigh the pros and cons and decide which program is best for me. Which program is best for me to be successful, have the best future, have the most fun and win a bunch of basketball games.”
(For those who haven’t seen you play, how would you describe your game?) “I would describe myself as a scoring guard. I honestly do whatever it takes to win. I play to win games. I feel like I’ve got a huge chip on my shoulder because people have doubted me my whole life and I just want to continue proving everyone wrong that doubts me. Really scrappy. I like to get into it with people. I like big games. I don’t really back down from anything. I love to take the big shots. Just a scoring guard and I do whatever it takes to win whether it’s setting people up if my shots not falling or encouraging people if I’m not playing that much. I feel like I want to be a piece to the puzzle that wins a national title. That’s my goal.”
(As a kid, where there any players that you patterned your game?) “Luke Ridnour has been my idol my whole life and recently Stephon Curry. I grew up loving Steve Nash also. So it was Ridnour and Nash growing up and Stephon Curry when I got into my high school years.”
According to Scout.com, Washington is seriously interested in 12 prospects and has extended scholarship offers to six recruits listed below. As it stands, UW has four scholarships available for the 2011 class.
|Jabari Brown||SG||Oakland, CA||6-5||200|
|Tony Wroten Jr.||SG||Seattle||6-4||170|
|Angelo Chol||C||San Diego||6-8||200|
|Norvel Pelle||PF||Los Angeles||6-8||180|
|Brett Kingma||PG||Mill Creek||6-1||170|
— Ever wonder what happened to California Golden Bears star Jerome Randle? It appears the 2010 Pac-10 Player of the Year failed to latch on with a NBA team and will play next season in Turkey.
— Pac-10, Big West and West Coast Conference men’s basketball officials attended a joint summer officiating training session aimed at improving the overall consistency and quality of officials.