Making the trek all the way from Los Angeles to Ann Arbor, 2014 Long Beach (Calif.) Poly wing Kameron Chatman and his father Canaan spent nearly as much time on an airplane as they did on Michigan’s campus during the two-night, weekend visit.
Although the time change and travel plans made for an exhausting turnaround, the Chatman’s left Sunday afternoon knowing full well that the Wolverines would be a great destination for the No. 39 overall player in the country.
“It was my first time there and it was cool just seeing everything, the football stadium, and all of that,” Chatman told GoBlueWolverine. “It was a good experience to see the campus, meet the coaches, and kind of see how practice runs in the camp. I built a good relationship with coach Bacari and coach Jordan because they haven’t talked to me as much as coach Beilein and coach Meyer -- so I got to meet the rest of the staff and that was pretty good.
“I felt really comfortable with them and the whole staff.”
Going from averaging 16 points per game this spring on one of the most talented AAU teams in the country, playing in tournaments pinning the best against the best, to competing in a college camp with players from all levels of basketball is a significantly different setting. Standing out from the pack, Chatman faired well in the scrimmage portion of the activities but in his eyes, the drill work and individual attention was the most beneficial aspect of the College Practice Camp.
“It was good,” he said. “We learned a lot of new stuff, stuff that can help me that I can do at home easily. They talked a lot about player development the most and that it was the most important thing to them and I think that’s important too -- learning new stuff.
“After the camp was over with they took me upstairs to the strength and conditioning coach and he showed me a bunch of stuff that they do, all of the testing they do, and how they get bigger and all that.”
Sunday morning was Chatman’s official, unofficial visit with the Wolverines, up bright and early to be over at the William Davidson Player Development Center by 9am. Taking a tour of campus, including a stop at the athlete academic center, Chatman’s visit came to an end inside the friendly confines of John Beilein’s office, receiving the news he’d been waiting for.
“We sat down, my dad and I and the coaching staff and a couple of managers, and basically he opened the board up and it was my name on there,” said Chatman. “There was the name of a committed player they had in the class and four other people that had a scholarship.
“He just told me that he wanted to offer me a full scholarship and he asked how I felt about that. Obviously, Michigan is a great school and they have a great program so I was very honored to have a scholarship from them.”
An on the spot commitment seemed out of the realm of possibility heading into Chatman’s visit, and the plan to stay patient and take more visits rang true. But the Wolverines made a huge impression.
“Definitely,” Chatman said when asked if he could see himself at Michigan. “Just being close with the coaches for two days and talking to them -- I would say they’re highly on my list right now. But obviously, just going through the process and going to other schools, and seeing what other schools will be like, there will be some competition but I would say Michigan is high on my list.”
While players are looking for one thing, parents by nature are wired to think and evaluate their child’s future on a different level. Chatman’s father, who was a fly on the wall while his son competed Saturday evening, believes the trip confirmed what they had already heard about Michigan, very familiar with the history of the basketball program and former players like Glen Rice.
“Being able to get there and see some of the history, touch some of the history, and look at Crisler, the big house, and all of that stuff,” said Chatman’s father. “It was a good opportunity for me. Was it what I expected? I would say it was everything I expected just because the tradition speaks for itself.
“Coach B is a good guy, I’ve known coach Meyer, and with the other two assistants, that was my first opportunity to get a chance to sit down, kick it with them, have some conversations with them and we knew a lot of the same people, run in the same circles. It was good to put a name on a face.”
Making a living off versatile talent like sophomore-to-be, Glenn Robinson III, Chatman fits the profile of a John Beilein recruit. So much so, that the Chatman’s aren’t objecting to the notion that the best match on and off the court is the Wolverines.
“The one consensus, no matter who we necessarily talk to, even talking to other schools so we can appreciate their candor -- everybody feels that Michigan is actually a perfect fit for Kameron,” said Chatman’s father. “Just in terms of how he plays, how they play, and then the type of kid he is.
“The one thing that stood out for me and Kameron, you can tell by how the bench reacts in a game, everyone is on the same page, everyone’s involved, and have the same goal. It was a whirlwind but I think it was definitely necessary -- it was great to get out there.”