Blake Hoffarber Talks About his Recruitment

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 and winning an ESPY for Play of the Year. caught up with Hoffraber in Las Vegas to talk about his recruitment, winning the ESPY and the upcoming season for the Royals.

Blake Hoffarber tied the Eastview 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.

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 game 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 traveled with his family to Los Angeles July 11-13 for the ESPY Award show.

Hoffarber played at Reebok's ABCD camp in Teaneck, New Jersey with AAU teammate and fellow 2007 class member Cole Aldrich July 5-9.

The two played in the Reebok Big Time Tournament for the Minnesota Magic Eli, finishing 1-4. They lost all three games in pool play, but rebounded to win their first playoff game before falling in the second round.

The AAU team had won the Kingwood Classic 16-and-under crown in April.

You played in the NBA Players Association camp, Reebok ABCD Camp and the Reebok Big Time Tournament this summer. How much has that helped your game?

"I think that it has helped me a lot. Because back in Minnesota, there is not as good as competition as there is here. There are the best teams around the country. Playing against this type of competition, you have to work way harder to play your game and win. I think that it has helped my game a lot."

Now you have to get ready for team play. You played in the Minnesota team camp in June, which you won and will play in the Pacesetter Camp next week. You lost some good players in Arden Skoglund, who signed with Valparaiso and Andrew Henke, who will play at Air Force. You return rapidly rising big man Dan Vandervieren and Steve Duncan, plus welcome several promising newcomers. What are your expectations of this season?

"We lost some good players, but we still have some good players coming up in my opinion, like Steve Duncan and Dan Vandervieren. We have been playing in a lot of open gyms together. We should do pretty well, but we just have to see how it goes and see how the Pacesetter turns out."

Do you have a list of schools already?

"It is wide open right now. I'm just taking all the recruiting stuff in. I could pretty much go anywhere right now. I don't have a favorite right now."

What things are you going to be working on your game now that AAU ball is over?

"I plan on working on getting quicker, being a better shooter off the dribble and working on my ballhandling. Those are the things that I want to work on during the offseason."

What schools are you hearing from right now?

"I'm hearing from Illinois, Minnesota, Valparaiso, Georgetown, Kansas, Northern Iowa, Northern Illinois and others."

How much did you gain from not only playing at these various camps, but from meeting other new people?

"That is like one of the best things I like about this. You develop relationships with all these people from across the country and you can always say hi to them. When you go to a camp, you always have a friend there or friends that you know, because you meet them at a tournament. It is fun to call and see how they are doing and say hi. I think that I will have a relationship with several people I have met."

You had a busy summer with AAU and the ESPYs. Did you ever think it was going to be such a big deal when you made the shot?

"I had no clue. Winning an ESPY, I would have never thought about that. I did not even think that I was going to be on Sportscenter on ESPN or anything. It's just crazy."

How about the rest of the summer? Are you going to have any time off?

"We are just going to go to our cabin for a couple of weekends over the next couple of months. But, I'm just going to be in the gym as much as possible and try to improve, because I've been gone a lot. I've got to work on my fundamentals right now."



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