Humphries Acclimating to U.S. Hoops

Prolific Australian product Isaac Humphries was one of the best young prospects from down under, but now he is finding success in new arena.

Isaac Humphries has only been in the United States for a couple months now, but the Aussie center is getting accustomed to a new home, new teammates, and a new style of play.

"To start off it was more just getting used to the team and them getting used to me,” the 6’10” Humphries said. "The opposition is obviously a little quicker, so I had to get used to the speed of the game. In Australia, our fundamentals are a little different."

The hoops world in Australia is admittedly different than it is in the United States. The athleticism and explosiveness of American centers is proving to be a unique matchup for Humphries and his deliberate and heady style of play.

"I think we’re taught fundamentals from a young age,” he said. "All around I just think we’re slower but we play with smarts. We emphasize basketball IQ and structure."

The challenge of playing some of the best prep players in the world is a huge bonus for Humphries. Having already faced the best from his own home, he made the trip to the other side of the globe to hone his skills in a new arena.

"That’s what I came over for,” Humphries said about playing new talent. "I’ve loved it. It’s exciting. I’ve played all the competition in Australia and all over the world. I wanted to see the competition in America and so far it’s been a good challenge."

In just two short months, Humphries has seen his recruitment take off in a hurry. With offers from a number of national powers and other storied basketball programs, he is doing his best to stay focused and grounded and not get caught up in all the talk about him and his college future.

"It’s obviously picked up a lot since I got over here,” he said. "There are a lot of schools recruiting me."

He continued, "I don’t really get too involved in all that. I keep to myself. I don’t really care what all is said on Twitter or Facebook or any of that. I don’t really want to be influenced by the media much."

The good news is that Humphries will further have a chance to evaluate himself this spring as he and several of his La Lumiere teammates will take the floor with Spiece Indy Heat in Nike EYBL play.

"I’m playing with Spiece for the EYBL circuit,” Humphries said. "I’m focusing on recruiting somewhat now, but I’m paying attention to school and finishing the season off. I’m looking into visits now, and hopefully I’ll have my decision by November. That way I won’t have to stress or any of that."

Being so far from home, Humphries is paying extra attention to the fit his eventual college will provide. Safe to say, though, that distance from home will not be a factor in this one.

"I think environment is big for me,” he said. "I like to have a balance on and off the court. The relationship with the head coach and the coaches that will be looking after me is important. I’m so far from home, so it’s good to know that someone will be there for me."

That comfort level with a school won’t be all that much unlike his move to La Lumiere in the first place.

"It will be like a home away from home,” he said. "That’s what brought me here (to La Lumiere) in the first place."

Many international players value academics just as much as their athletic futures, and especially for Humphries, the balance of academics and athletics will be important.

"100%. I chose LaLu actually because it’s both a good academic school as well as a good basketball school,” he said. "So I will absolutely be looking at academics. I was interested in psychology, but I’ve started to get interested in media as well."

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