Willie Kemp won't have any trouble finding his way to Fayetteville on April 15-17 for The Real Deal on the Hill AAU basketball tournament.
He and teammate Wayne Chism have got the route from Bolivar (Tenn.) Central to the University of Arkansas down pretty good now or what will be their third visit to the school since last October counting a trek for Midnight Madness and a regular season game.
"I believe I'll be able to find the place pretty easily now," Kemp said. "I really like coming up there. They have a great school and I enjoy coming up there."
Kemp, an exciting 6-2, 180-pound junior point guard, will be playing for the Mid-State Ballerz in the event and they'll open play Friday night at 9:20 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena against the powerful Indy Spiece Heat that is led by stars Greg Oden and Michael Conley.
"I'm excited about the competition and it sounds like it's going to be a great tournament," Kemp said. "I think we've got Oden's team up first so that's a challenge I am looking forward to."
Kemp averaged 20 points and 7 assists per game this past season while leading his Bolivar Central squad to a second straight Tennessee Class 3A state title.
In one game in the state tournament with Arkansas head coach Stan Heath on hand, Kemp had 23 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds en route to eventually nabbing the state tournament MVP award.
"It was a great year for the team and I think I played pretty well individually," Kemp said. "This one was even sweeter because no one thought we could come back and do it again."
He's already gotten offers from Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Memphis, Ole Miss, Mississippi State while drawing interest from several other schools such as Kentucky, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Illinois.
"I've got a great list of teams that have showed they are interested in me and I feel honored that the are paying attention to me," Kemp said. "But I am also confident that I can play and succeed at any of those schools. I haven't really started to narrow it down too much yet."
Kemp was helped immensely this season by the addition of Chism, the 6-9, 235-pound power forward who lost to Bolivar Central in the 2004 finals and who is expected to play with the Mid-State Ballerz this spring and summer as well.
"He's a great player and really helped us get back into the state tournament and take care of business," Kemp said. "He was a great teammate this season."
It will actually be the pair's fourth visit inside the state of Arkansas' borders this season seeing as how they also came over Thanksgiving for the Rumble on the Ridge.
North Carolina signee Tyler Hansbrough and Poplar Bluff (Mo.) rallied to down Bolivar 65-60 in the championship game when Chism got in foul trouble.
That was despite a spectacular game by Kemp, who had 36 points in the title contest while going 16-of-24 from the field while hitting 3-pointers, mid-range jumpers and taking it to the rim.
"That was one of those games that I had to take over, but I think it also really helped spark us on to a better season," Kemp said. "We watched Hansbrough play Oden later in the year and were setting there thinking we should have beaten them and it just made us work harder."
A Real Deal PG
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