Kimble and Clover Ink with Hawks

Within a matter of 48 hours in early August, St. Joe's received verbal commitments from two Philadelphia Catholic League standouts. On Wednesday, Neumann-Goretti (PA) senior point guard Lamarr Kimble and St. Joe's Prep (PA) shooting guard Chris Clover signed Letters of Intent with the Hawks at their respective high schools.

Lamarr Kimble and Chris Clover are household names to those in touch with the Philadelphia high school basketball scene. Kimble stars at South Philadelphia powerhouse Neumann-Goretti while Clover is a do-it-all wing guard playing for Speedy Morris at St. Joe's Prep. Both Kimble and Clover had strong April and July live period performances, garnering interest and offers from a plethora of colleges.

Kimble's play in July with Team Final attracted new offers from La Salle, Creighton, and more. St. Joe's had offered in the spring after recruiting him actively for most of his high school career. As the starting point guard for Team Final, on the EYBL circuit, 'Fresh' averaged 8.1 points, 4.6 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. In July, in a head-to-head match-up with five-star Villanova commit Jaylen Brunson, Kimble had 11 points, 10 assists, and 4 steals in a winning effort.

With the graduation of starting point guard Chris Wilson following the 2014-2015 season, St. Joe's will only have one point guard in the roster. Kimble will join current freshman Shavar Newkirk in the backcourt. Both Newkirk and Kimble are sub 6-footers, but bring toughness, savvy, a winning attitude, and ability to really attack the basket.

Less than 48 hours after Fresh made the call for the Hawks in August, fellow Philadelphia Catholic League guard Chris Clover ended his recruitment.

Clover, a 6'4 shooting guard with a college-ready body, averaged right around 22 points per game last year for Speedy Morris at The Prep. As an underclassman at St. Joe's Prep, Clover played with current Notre Dame sophomore Steve Vasturia and current Wake Forest sophomore Miles Overton. During those years, Clover played quite a bit of forward. Those years in the post helped mold Chris into the tough, physical, gritty player that he currently is.

This past spring and summer, Clover played with Philly Pride on the travel circuit, where he was tracked by the likes of St. Joe's, Temple, Villanova, La Salle, Rider, Drexel, and more. On the travel circuit, Clover showed off an ability to knock down jumpers off the catch, create off the dribble, and attack the basket. While he is not an explosive athlete like current Hawks James Demery or DeAndre Bembry, Chris could develop into a plus shooter for the Hawks. He, like Lamarr Kimble, should contribute off the bat next year for St. Joe's.

With Chris Clover and Lamarr Kimble now in the fold, it is difficult to look at next year's backcourt and not consider it the deepest in quite some time on Hawk Hill. Phil Martelli will have two solid, aggressive point guards in Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble. He will then have DeAndre Bembry, James Demery, and Chris Clover at the wing. That backcourt has depth, athleticism, defensive upside, and several interchangeable parts. The coaching staff should be able to have fun with that group.

The Early Signing Period runs through next Wednesday. With Clover and Kimble in the fold, the one name out there to still keep an eye on is 6'8 Bergen Catholic (NJ) forward Pierfrancesco Oliva. It remains to be seen if he will sign early or wait until the spring to pick a school.

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