Fenwick High junior guard Xavier Humphrey has made an impact as a youngster on the Friars varsity team. The 6-4 wing player impressed as a sophomore at Fenwick last season. "He's a very talented player," said Friars head coach John Quinn. "He's been our leading scorer in most of our games."
Xavier, or "X" as he's known to his friends, has a role model in older brother Vince and is following in his footsteps. Vince Humphrey is the second leading scorer in Fenwick school history. Vince went on to play for Valparaiso and then transferred to Northern Kentucky University where he started last season.
At the Proviso West Holiday tournament last season, Humphrey led the Friars in scoring while averaging 14 points per game. Coach Quinn is blessed to have a talented young player like Humphrey. "He's truly ambidextrous, he can do things with either his right or left hand," said Quinn. "He needs to work on his physical strength right now and become a more accomplished defensive player. We think he's going to be a kid who can be an all-state caliber player by the time he's a senior. He can shoot very well and he has great instincts for the game. He rarely makes a mental mistake and he's an outstanding free throw shooter."
On the AAU circuit this summer, Humphrey was part of a stellar backcourt trio for the Illinois Stars. Guards D.J. Richardson (Peoria Central) and James Kinney (Champaign Centennial) led the Stars to the championship title of the USSSA National Tournament in the 16-U Gold Bracket to close out the summer AAU season.
Humphrey's AAU coach Troy Johnson feels that Humphrey is doing what it takes to get to the next level. "He's worked on adding range to his jump shot and getting a quicker release." said Johnson. "He's really explosive. He has a chance to be exceptional. We want to see him work on his ballhandling; especially handling the ball against pressure and full court presses."
While Humphrey lacks the ballhandling skills of a point guard, he possesses the unselfishness of that position. "He's very unselfish," said Quinn. "At times we're after him to look for his own shot more. He really enjoys the pass as much as he does the shot or the play. He's just really good about knowing what his teammates do well and getting them the ball in those kinds of places. He has a creative sense to his game and he can hit the three point shot. Physically he's got to get stronger and he will as he gets older. As a team player he's totally focused on our team's success and getting everybody involved."
Off the court, academics aren't much of a problem for an honor roll student like Xavier. "He's a smart kid," said Quinn. "All of our players except for one are on the honor roll."
Despite injuries that have nagged him during the college evaluation periods, he has attracted the interest of many high major coaches. Humphrey has begun to look at where his game will take him. He has already visited the campuses of DePaul, Illinois, Northwestern, and Wisconsin.
X is also receiving interest from California, Dayton, Indiana, Marquette, Notre Dame, St. Louis, Stanford, Western Michigan, and Xavier University.
Like Horace Greeley's famous advice, Humphrey does have a preference and favors the West coast. "I really like the PAC 10," said Xavier. "California, I really like them."
Look for Humphrey with Fenwick this season. The Friars will be back in the Proviso West holiday tournament field again and have a showdown looming at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates versus Jacobs on January 19th.
Stay tuned to WeAreDePaul.com for the very latest news on the Blue Demons and DePaul recruiting.
2009 Focus: Xavier Humphrey
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