Bloomington, Ind. – It didn't take IU long to get involved again with big man Beas Hamga.
Just days after the 6-11, 230-pound center from Decatur (Ill.) Christian Prep School re-opened his recruitment last week, Hamga was sitting down with IU Coach Kelvin Sampson and IU Assistant Coach Jeff Meyer to talk about the Hoosier program as a potential college destination.
"He was in Bloomington when he decided to re-open things and he came up with his list and put IU on it," Decatur Christian Coach Alan Huss said. "I think they set it up for him to come over and talk to coach (Sampson) while he was in town."
A one-time verbal commit to Iowa, Hamga decided to reconsider his college options after Alford left the Hawkeyes for New Mexico. He's since come out with a new list of schools that includes Indiana, Florida, Kentucky, UConn, Georgetown, Memphis and UNLV.
Huss said it wasn't a surprise Hamga opted to back down from his Iowa verbal after Alford bolted for New Mexico.
"He had a heck of a relationship with some of the guys on that staff," Huss said. "Coach Alford and Coach (Craig) Neal had done a great job recruiting him from day one. With the changes, it's a natural step to take a look at what else is out there."
While Hamga will take a look, he didn't necessarily want to open things up to everyone. That's why the four-star recruit came out with a list soon after announcing he was once again open.
"He's going to stick with that (list) instead of re-opening it to everyone where he'd have to deal with a lot more stuff if he was completely wide open," Huss said. "It's a solid core. He's got a nice relationship with some of the people, and some he doesn't know very well at all."
Indiana is one of the programs he does have some familiarity with, and he's no stranger to Bloomington, either. A native of Cameroon, Hamga moved to the U.S. 1 ½ years ago with the help of Indiana Elite AAU Coach Mark Adams and lives in Bloomington during the off-season. Once he recovers from a severed tendon in his pinkie, Hamga will be playing for Adams' Indiana Elite squad this summer.
"It's as close as he's got to home in the U.S.," Huss said. "He knows all about IU – it's not a mystery to him.
"Beas' guardians in the past have tried never to really let that influence things…but he's right there in town, so I certainly think that will be a factor in his decision."
So what kind of player is Indiana – and six others – after? Hamga is coming off a 2006-07 season that included 14 points, 13 rebounds and nearly eight blocks per game, making him one of the most coveted centers in the '08 class.
"He dominates games defensively right now, and he has the ability to dominate games offensively, too," said Huss. "He's still got some strides to make offensively, but he has a great touch, a great turnaround jumper, he added a left shoulder jump hook this year, and he's really made some strides.
"He has a chance to be a pro if he really works at it. Right now he's a shot blocker and rebounder, but he has the ability to be a really good offensive player."
That defensive presence – coupled with his offensive potential – has some big-time programs hoping to lure him to their college campuses. With things re-opened for just a week it could be a while before things get sorted out.
Or maybe not.
"I'd say right now everything is new and it's in the initial stages of the process," Huss said. "It could go quickly, though, and I wouldn't be surprised if it does. Bbut I'd say right now I don't know if Beas would have a clue if he had to make a decision."
Hoosiers In Quick Contact with Hamga
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