Bloomington, Ind. – Demetri McCamey had heard what Indiana was all about, but last week he had a chance to see it first hand.
The 6-4, 190-pound guard from St. Joseph's H.S. in Westchester, Ill., made an unofficial visit to the IU program last Thursday. It gave the Hoosier target a chance to see what others had been telling him about.
Those "others" are former St. Joseph's H.S. and Indiana University graduates Isiah Thomas and Daryl Thomas, a pair of Hoosier greats who played instrumental roles in national championship runs in 1981 and 1987, respectively.
"Coach Thomas, he told me just about every day last year how it's a great place, that it's basketball heaven down there," McCamey said.
"I also talked to Isiah once, and he was telling me how it's a great school and how they are getting ready to build a new practice facility."
But seeing is believing, and McCamey said he came away impressed following an unofficial visit that included spending time with IU President Dr. Adam Herbert, a couple of IU business professors as well as IU Coach Kelvin Sampson.
"I had heard a lot about Indiana from others, I just didn't know if it was actually true or not," McCamey said. "It's really true."
McCamey said he had been planning for some time to make a trip to Bloomington with his mother, but a work conflict forced him to make the trip with a one of the St. Joseph's coaches, whose son was participating in one of the IU basketball summer camps.
"Indiana is a great place, it's crazy and they love basketball players there," McCamey said.
Indiana, meanwhile, is equally enamored with McCamey, Scout.com's 81st-ranked player nationally and the 13th-ranked point guard in the country. He's a big, strong, physical point guard who averaged 16 points, six rebounds, eight assists and four steals as a junior.
Those attributes have earned him a scholarship offer from not only Indiana, but also Michigan, DePaul and every team in the ACC except for Duke and North Carolina. McCamey said he made an unofficial visit to DePaul last Wednesday (June 14) the day before his trip to IU.
Illinois, meanwhile, has also been showing interest, and McCamey will be in Champaign tomorrow (Monday) with his St. Joseph's H.S. teammates to compete in the Illini's summer team camp.
While that's formidable recruiting competition, the trip to Bloomington solidified IU's position as one of the frontrunners.
"They are one of my top schools right now," McCamey said.
The afternoon stop in Bloomington also provided McCamey with an opportunity to spend an extended amount of time with first-year IU coach Kelvin Sampson. McCamey said he spent approximately an hour one-on-one with Sampson in the IU basketball office.
"He showed me all his rings from the Big 12, the Final Four ring, the Elite Eight ring, and then we walked into Assembly Hall and it's a great gym with a lot of banners," McCamey said. "It's a great atmosphere."
Sampson, meanwhile, is a coach that he could see himself fitting in with as while. Not only does McCamey like Sampson's style of play, but his approach as well.
"He likes big, strong guards and I'm a big strong guard," McCamey said. "We're both tough and hard-nosed as a player and coach, so I think that's a good fit."
That Bloomington atmosphere, meanwhile, will be one of the things that weighs heavily on his mind when he eventually does make a decision. While he has yet to establish a timetable, he said he would like to decide before the start of school in the fall.
"How I get along with the players and coaches will be important, and the school's atmosphere is big also – how the community treats their players," McCamey said.
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