Catching up with UM Signee: Julian Gamble

When Julian Gamble arrives on campus this summer, it will be just like home because like fellow North Carolinian Jimmy Graham, mom will be coming along.

Not immediately, but by the time the ACC season tips off.

"She is not coming down until the ACC season begins, but she'll be here," Gamble said.

His girlfriend will also be down in South Florida either at UM or Florida Atlantic as well, so leaving home will not be difficult for him at all.

Julian Gamble, a native of Durham, North Carolina, could be one of three natives of North Carolina on the 2007-2008 roster if Anthony King is given a medical red shirt and given clearance for a sixth year of school following a wrist injury after only eight games last season.

"I talked to Coach Fernandez about it and they got through the first stage. I think it would be good for King to come back because he can help me out and teach me a lot of stuff. I am cool with behind his back up. I don't have the mentality where I am going to walk in and take his spot," Gamble said.

But what Gamble brings to the table is something that none of Miami's post players really have and that's true offensive skill.

While Graham was a brute in high school and continues to be that in high school and King is limited offensively, Gamble has go-to post moves coming out of high school, namely a consistent baby hook.

At 6-foot-10, 260 pounds, Gamble is also bigger than both King and Graham and happens to be a lefty unlike the other two.

As a senior at Southern Durham High School, the alma mater of King as well, Gamble averaged 17 points, 9 rebounds and five blocks per game while leading his team to a 19-10 record and a berth in the state playoffs.

Right now though, Gamble is making his life the gym and graduation.

"I am just going day-by-day, really looking forward to graduation more than anything else. I am getting impatient, wanting to get down there to start working out so I can secure a starting spot or get some major minutes," Gamble said.

Following a rough year last year, Gamble wants to bring a renewed energy to the program with his freshmen class.

"Any freshmen class wants to bring in energy, a new side of the program that it didn't have before. I think our class will bring in some fire. We all want to win and it's going to bring more size to the line up, in the ACC where it's heavy in good down low players," Gamble said.

At the same time Gamble considers himself a versatile player who can do things that not everyone his size can do.

"I think I bring a more versatile post player, even possibly play on the wing a little bit, because my range is like 15-20 feet, I can shoot an open three, go to the basket, pass, do all that stuff.

"I've been working on a lot of moves and I watch a lot of NBA games and watch a lot of players in the post. I like to face up and take one hard dribble and then spin back to the basket. I can do whatever I want to with that hook shot. I use a lot more fakes knowing how aggressive people can be and just being smart when I play the game."

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat can be reached at rudy@canestime.com

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