Armon Bassett is the first to admit that he wasn't completely ready for what Virginia's Hargrave Military Academy was going to dish out.
"It wasn't an easy adjustment," said the 6-2, 175-pound graduate of Terre Haute (Ind.) South High School. "At home, you can sleep anytime you want to, eat when you want to, do homework when you want to. It's not like that here."
No, it is not.
Bassett arrived at Hargrave Military Academy this fall after a stellar career at Terre Haute South High School. Bassett earned Indiana All-Star honors last spring after averaging 22 points and nearly six assists per game for a team that advanced to the state's Final Four.
But the prep standout had some areas to improve on both on the court and in the classroom, and he decided a year at Hargrave would give him the sort of opportunities that he coveted at the collegiate level.
While Hargrave is best known for helping develop college superstars such as former Xavier All-American David West and Wake Forest's Josh Howard, it's also proven to be a place for student-athletes to go to shore up their academic standing. One of the ways it does that is with a strict daily regimen that doesn't waver.
"Here, they have us on a schedule for 6:25 in the morning until 9:30 at night, every day," said Bassett.
At 6:25 a.m. Bassett and the rest of his Hargrave classmates arrive for breakfast at the Cheatham, Va., based school, which is followed at 7:45 a.m. by a mandatory drill - everyone lining up to salute the American flag.
From there, Bassett is in class until noon, followed by lunch. After a two-hour break, Bassett departs for basketball practice, which is followed by a lifting session for him and the rest of his basketball teammates.
After his basketball obligations are fulfilled he returns for dinner, followed by mandatory daily study hall from 7:30-9:30 p.m. It's then back to his room, where it's lights out at 10 p.m.
It's a routine that's different from what he's been used to, but it's been one that Bassett is slowly growing accustomed to.
"Once you get used to it, it is easy," said Bassett. "It's starting to go by fast. We're starting to play games - we played against Oak Hill (last week), so the season is coming and it's starting to go by fast."
While the adjustment wasn't necessarily an easy one, it was something that Bassett knew he needed so that he could focus on his academics and not only improve his standardized test score to be eligible as a college freshman, but also to prepare himself for the rigors of college academics.
"Academically, it's one of the best academic prep schools in the country," said Bassett. "They have a 100 percent success rate. As far as basketball and academics I think it's the best prep school in the country.
"I'm just glad I had a chance and they gave me a scholarship to come here."
Bassett is already enjoying the fruits of his labor, as he accepted a scholarship offer from the Hoosiers last week, and he intends to sign with IU this fall. When he does arrive on the Bloomington campus, Bassett is convinced his experiences at Hargrave will have adequately prepared him for what's in store on the court and in the classroom.
"That's what this year is for," said Bassett. "I need to get my test score, but I'm also getting to take the extra year to mature, and coach is going to try to get me as ready as I can be for college."
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