Kimble, a Philadelphia native, gives head coach Phil Martelli a point guard to replace Chris Wilson, who will graduate this coming spring after three years as a starter on Hawk Hill. St. Joe’s was involved with a handful of 2015 point guards, but it was apparent to anyone following that Kimble was the man they wanted. And on Friday, they got him.
This spring and summer, Lamarr Kimble was the engine that made Team Final run. Kimble set the table for the likes of Syracuse commit Malachi Richardson, Villanova commit Donte Divincenzo, Levan Alston, and Trey Lowe. During this past EYBL season with Team Final, Kimble averaged 8.1 points, 4.6 assists, and 3 rebounds. But, most of all, he won. Team Final fell short in the Peach Jam, dropping a tight one to the Oakland Soldiers. They bounced right back, however, winning The 8, in Vegas, during the third live period.
Throughout July, Kimble impressed Scout’s national team of writers. He generated national buzz with an 11-point, 10-assist, 4-rebound, 4-steal performance against elite point guard Jaylen Brunson. And, par for the course, he did it in a win. Scout’s Evan Daniels and Rob Harrington had this to say about Kimble following a strong day at the Peach Jam.
“College coaches were buzzing about Kimble’s toughness. He has an impressive command of his team. Kimble makes good decisions with the basketball, sees the floor well and finds ways to get into the paint. In a morning session game, Kimble consistently got by his man and found teammates for easy buckets. Kimble finished 5-for-6 from the field and score 11 points. He also tossed out 10 assists.”
With Neumann-Goretti and Team Final, ‘Fresh’ has done nothing but win. That winning attitude, that expectation to win, and the trademark Philadelphia toughness, are traits that he will be bringing with him to Hawk Hill. Neumann-Goretti has won six consecutive Philadelphia Catholic League championships, so Kimble has known nothing but winning. Nothing but success. The same holds true for Team Final, who were one of the best teams on the EYBL circuit all spring and summer long.
Lamarr Kimble’s commitment to St. Joe’s on Friday is significant for a handful of reasons, the first of which being his ability to play the game. He is a highly-talented lead guard who should fit in very nicely alongside Shavar Newkirk, James Demery, Aaron Brown, and DeAndre Bembry in a very promising Hawk backcourt.
Kimble’s commitment is also significant since he is a local kid. The Hawks last signed a Catholic League player in 2006 when fellow N-G Saint D.J. Rivera committed to the Hawks. His career on Hawk Hill was short-lived, relatively tumultuous, and came to a close when he transferred to Binghamton. Any concerns about Phil Martelli ever being able to recruit a Neumann-Goretti player again can now be officially put to rest.
St. Joe’s is also, slowly, building more of a local presence. Penn Wood’s Aaron Brown, after two years at West Virginia and a redshirt year on Hawk Hill last year, will be suiting up for SJU this season. Philadelphia Electric’s Jai Williams, after redshirting last year, will be active on the Hawks’ roster this season. Lamarr Kimble gives them a third local player.
St. Joe’s got their lead guard on Friday. Now the focus shifts to the shooting guard and forward spots. Two other Catholic League players are major Hawk target, as is one of Kimble’s AAU teammates. 6’5 Ewing (NJ) shooting guard Trey Lowe recently trimmed his list to four, with Temple, St. Joe’s, VCU, and SMU making the cut. Lowe ran with Kimble all AAU season, so that will be interesting to monitor, seeing if Kimble’s commitment aids the Hawks at all.
St. Joe’s is also actively involved with St. Joe’s Prep shooting guard Chris Clover and Archbishop Carroll big man Ernest Aflakpui. Both know Kimble well from their Catholic League contests. Now officially a Hawk, Kimble could help the SJU coaching staff on the recruiting front.
‘Fresh’ is the Hawks’ first 2015 commitment in what is a pivotal recruiting class. St. Joe’s landed Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year DeAndre Bembry in 2013 and then followed that up with one of the A10’s top 2014 recruiting classes. It’s a class that consists of point guard Shavar Newkirk, wing guard James Demery, power forward Markell Lodge, and center Obi Romeo. Their 2015 class, where they are targeting a point guard, a shooting guard, a skilled 4, and a ‘wild card’ is now off to a strong start with Kimble’s commitment.
In the end, Lamarr Kimble picked the Hawks over offers from the likes of Creighton, La Salle, Drexel, Robert Morris, and more. The 6-foot, 180-pound point guard gives St. Joe’s just what they were looking for in 2015. They got a tough, defensive-minded, pass-first point guard who knows nothing but winning. When he arrives on Hawk Hill in 2015, he will look to keep that winning tradition alive.