Although high school hoops season is officially underway across the nation, 2014 Cal Poly (CA) High School small forward Kameron Chatman will have to wait before making his debut in the Sunshine State. After moving from Portland, Oregon in March of 2012, the Chatmans never anticipated an issue arising with the 6'7, 175 pound junior's eligibility for this high school season. In recent weeks, however, a ruling came down from the California Athletic Association barring Chatman from competing on the hardwood until January 1st due to his state-to-state transfer.
Despite the disappointing ruling, which the Chatmans are currently appealing, the #32 overall player in the 2014 class, along with the rest of his highly regarded Cal Poly team, continued with business as usual in practice as several college coaches pop in and out looking for talent.
"Being in Southern California you always have different universities, whether they're playing or just coming through, on that West Coast swing always want to stop in, and he's not a secret," said Chatman's father Canaan. "People hear about him, and, just the fact that we practice darn near everyday, you have coaches coming through."
Aside from the daily visits paid by coaches in the surrounding area, Chatman's father admits their phone isn't ringing off the hook as of late, but with the high school season moving along and college basketball nearly a third of the way through the regular season, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
"I guess for us it's not really a priority," said Chatman's father. "But that's just kind of what we told all of the coaches, because who cares about recruiting right now? We know the landscape, we know how it goes, and the reality is even if we're not hearing from a lot of schools right now, we shouldn't --- it's basketball season and they're focused on their season trying to get ready for league play or off to a good start."
"For him college, doesn't matter right now anyway. It's about him building his team camaraderie and chemistry, getting ready for this whole schedule they have trying to march towards a state championship and possibly a national."
Michigan, which originally got involved in Chatman's recruitment back in July, is one of those schools fully entrenched in their expectation filled season. Although the Wolverines can't drive down the street to evaluate Kameron in practice, the Chatmans are doing their own evaluating from a far.
"I have not talked to Coach Beilein or Coach Meyer for a couple weeks; but even with that being said, that's normal," said Chatman's father. "Their job is to make sure their teams are productive and producing, because two times, three times a week we're evaluating them."
"We watch Michigan. To be honest with you we're very, very high on Michigan. Initially when we had the first conversations there was something to that with Michigan, and through relationships, and then having a couple conversations—but more so, him watching now, he's understanding really how his skill set could fit in the mix of a bunch of other people, and their skill sets, for them to ultimately win, which is what it's about."
The unselfish personalities and NBA caliber talent in Ann Arbor stands out to the Chatmans, who believe it speaks volumes about the Michigan coaching staff's ability.
"What's consistent is that a lot of the kids that are on the roster, they come from a great basketball background," said Chatman's father. "Obviously people will speak to Glenn Robinson's and Tim Hardaway's sons, but the reality is Trey Burke comes from as strong a basketball background as those other guys too."
"Tim Hardaway had game before he went to Michigan. Glenn Robinson had game before he went to Michigan. But now you mix that game with a bunch of other guys that have game, and now they work together to ultimately win where it doesn't matter about stats. We don't care who gets 20. We don't care who gets 10. We just want to put our best product out on the court. It's kind of a no brainer. They know what the heck they're doing."
The growth of Michigan's program has moved the Wolverines up to the #3 ranking in both national polls, and even loftier expectations from Chatman's father.
"To come back and now mesh all of those talents and for them to make them --- shoot, I don't want to put pressure on them, but man they should be in the final four just because they've got everything," said Chatman's father.
"But you look at what they have and it's not like someone is playing out of the world. All of those guys have high ceilings where they can get a lot better, and I think that's a testament to what the coaches are doing."
With Chatman busy throughout the high school season and then jumping right into the AAU circuit, visits could be a ways off, but one the family knows will happen is Michigan.
"Kameron definitely will visit Michigan," said Chatman's father. "That'll probably be the only school right now that's in the Midwest that's high on his list I would say."
"Kameron will probably take at least three or four visits just to kind of get a chance to see what's out there. Me and his mom maybe get a chance to see it too."
"Michigan will definitely be one of the schools Kameron will be looking at. As long as Coach Beilein and Coach Meyer have a genuine interest in Kameron, we definitely have a genuine interest in Michigan."
Top 50 '14 SF "very high" on Michigan
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