Blake Hoffarber, a 6-4, 195 pound guard out of Hopkins Sr. High School in Minnetonka, MN, is probably best known for his incredible game winning shot he hit as a sophomore that won him an ESPY award. However, this summer, Blake is quickly proving that he can do more than just that ESPY shot. Eager to showcase his abilities, he has made appearances at the Reebok ABCD Camp in Teaneck, the Reebok Big Time tournament in Vegas and most recently, the AAU Nationals in Orlando.
Blake has taken advantage of his opportunities to compete against some of the nation's top players and has performed well thus far. He notes that it has been tough, but that the competition has really helped him step up his game: "[Playing against the top players] just improves every aspect of your game. You have to be faster, quicker and stronger…it just gets you ready for your college career."
If Hoffarber has proven anything this summer, it's that he has serious outside shooting ability. A fundamentally sound guard, he continues to amaze observers with his tremendous three point stroke and deep shooting range (Hoffarber shot 56% from the field and 58.8% from beyond the three point line at the ABCD camp).
When asked about his strengths as a player, he replied: "I think I'm a good shooter, good passer, a hustler and a winner. I do everything I have to do to win."
So far, Hoffarber's performances this summer have had a positive impact on his recruitment. Before June, he had "20 or so mid-major offers" and only interest from major schools. Right now, Blake reports that he holds offers from Cincinnati, Washington State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Northern Iowa and Montana. In addition, schools like Iowa, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Iowa State, Nebraska, Stanford, Minnesota all interested in him.
It is a little unusual to see Rutgers get involved with a recruit from Minnesota, and Hoffarber said that the Scarlet Knights first got involved in his recruitment at the Reebok ABCD camp.
"They saw me at ABCD actually. They liked how I played out there, liked how I was aggressive and shot the ball," Hoffarber said. "They said they usually don't go out to the Midwest [to recruit], but they're trying to get someone there…I'm interested in the school. I'm just taking my time and seeing what happens."
Blake states that he doesn't have any favorites at this point. However, now that the summer season is over for him, Hoffarber says that he will begin evaluating his options and plans on sitting down with his parents to discuss where he wants to take his official visits and possibly narrow down his list.
"I don't have any favorites. I've been trying to concentrate on playing and not worrying about the recruiting stuff," he commented. "Now, I have to start think about [recruiting] since the summer season is over."
As he prepares for his upcoming senior season, Hoffarber will continue to be busy, thinking about schools and working to improve his game. "I'm gonna start narrowing down my schools and stuff like that," the soft-spoken guard said. "Then I'm gonna get in the weight room and also work on my overall game with my high school teammates at open gym every night."
Make sure you stay tuned to StateofRutgers.com as Blake gets closer to making a college decision.
Notes: Hoffarber averaged 17.9 points per game in his junior season, leading Hopkins HS to a 28-9 record and a second straight 4A state title. He was named All-Metro by the Star Tribune for his efforts. Academically, Blake reports an impressive 3.9 GPA.
Links: If you haven't seen it here is Blake Hoffarber's ESPY Winning Shot, courtesy of Youtube.com