Homewood, Ala.--"Growing" is a key word when it comes to describing a class of 2018 basketball prospect who has a scholarship offer from the Auburn Tigers. As Richard Jemison adds inches to his frame, the interest from college coaches climbs, too.
Jemison, who is known by his teammates as “Trey,” is a 6-10, 230-pound prospect who will be a junior at Homewood High for the 2016-17 season.
“I was six-foot-eight coming into the 10th grade so I have grown two inches since then,” he told Inside the Auburn Tigers. “Coming into high school, I was six-foot-four so the last two years I have grown six inches. I am 16 now and will turn 17 on November 28th.”
Growing so quickly has meant some pain in the knees, which requires stretching and icing. However, Jemison noted it isn’t that big a deal. “I feel my knees all of the time, but I work through it,” he said.
Jemison and his Homewood teammates performed well at Coach Bruce Pearl’s most recent basketball camp, which featured 96 high school teams. Jemison noted that he is glad the Patriots participated in the event.
“There is great competition at the camp,” he said. “I really enjoyed it and I am improving.”
In addition to the scholarship offer from the Tigers, Jemison has early offers from UAB, Samford and St. Louis University.
“Chuck Person (AU associate head coach) and Bruce Pearl have been like family to me since day one,” Jemison said. “They love me and I come down to Auburn all of the time to see them. I enjoy them.”
Asked what the coaches told him when he was on campus for the camp, Jemison said, “They told me to play with confidence, don’t get frustrated and enjoy playing basketball.”
Jemison noted that he really enjoys hoops and it looks like that will pay off with a chance to get his education paid for when he graduates at Homewood. “Recruiting is going well,” he said. “After I went to the Top 100 camp it started really picking up and my stock went up a whole lot.”
Whoever signs the big man won’t have to worry about his academics. “I have a 3.9 GPA,” he said. “I got a B in physics. I have got to get that up."
One of the reasons he is seriously considering the Tigers is the university's academics. "I want to major in engineering and Auburn has really good engineering school,” he said.
Last season Homewood defeated Muscle Shoals 54-51 in the Class 6A state championship team to give the Patriots their first-ever basketball state title. This summer he is also playing AAU ball with the Alabama Challenge.
When the 2016-17 high school season starts the center said that he wants to be a better all-around player, particularly offensively. “I am working on being confident in the post, being strong with my drop-step, finishing at the goal and dunking everything,” he said, adding that he is also working on a hook shot.