Blake Hoffarber Attracts National Attention

Blake Hoffarber, a 6-foot-3 rising junior shooting guard from Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins, received plenty of national attention after leading the Royals to a 73-60 double overtime win over Apple Valley (MN) Eastview in the Minnesota Class AAAA championship game. Hoffarber tied the game at 58-58 to force overtime as his 19-foot shot while lying on the floor went in at the buzzer. Hoffarber's heroics earned him ESPN Play of the Week and Play of the Month and is up for an ESPY for Play of the Year.

Blake Hoffarber led Hopkins to a 30-1 mark and scored 53 points in the three state playoff games.The Royals outscored the stunned Lightning 13-2 in double overtime for the win in the state title. Hoffarber had previously hit a 25-foot three-pointer to force a first overtime and he finished with 25 points to lead all scorers in the title contest.

Hoffarber had won their regular season over Eastview with a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Hoffarber's heroics were featured on ESPN's Pardon The Interruption and he was on the CBS Morning News and Today show. Hoffarber said he is traveling to Los Angeles July 11-13 for the ESPY Award show.

Hoffarber will play at Reebok's ABCD camp in Teaneck, New Jersey next week with AAU teammate and fellow 2007 class member Cole Aldrich. They are expected to play on the same team as 2007's top player O. J. Mayo.

The two will also play in the Reebok Big Time Tournament for the Minnesota Magic Elite. The AAU team won the Kingwood Classic 16-and-under crown in April.

Hoffarber got his first taste of national exposure on the basketball court as he played in the NBA Players Association Camp in Richmond last week.

"It went really good," he said. "Playing against all the best players. Competing against the players is great competition. Different coaches told us what to work on. We learned different things from the NBA coaches and players."

Hoffarber has heard from a number of top programs, but that list is expected to grow as he is seen by many of the top college coaches this summer.

"I'm hearing from Georgetown, Valparaiso, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Penn State, Northern Illinois and Southern Illinois."

Hoffarber plays for uncle Ken Novak on perennial power Hopkins. The Royals lost Arden Skoglund, who signed with Valparaiso and Mitch Henke, who will play at Air Force. They return rapidly rising big man Dan Vandervieren and Steve Duncan, plus welcome several promising newcomers.

Hoffarber played for Hopkins at Minnesota's team Camp, but did not play during the final day, due to an ankle injury. Novak said that he likely could have played, but wanted to be 100 percent for the ABCD Camp.

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