For one of the top recruits on the West Coast in the 2007 class, it was a ruinous turn of events for his high school junior season. Mesa (Ariz.) Mountain View High School's Harper Kamp started the season injured and missed 10 games with the Toros with a broken bone in his foot. It was a battle for the 6'7.5" 255-pound four-star forward to return to action, and then to try and regain his timing and conditioning. At the conclusion of his season, Kamp averaged a pedestrian 10 points, five rebounds and two assists. But more importantly, the Mountain View center returned to a form where he could help his team in their stretch run.
"He got back into better shape, and they won the state tournament," says father Lane Kamp. "That's back-to-back titles."
The younger Kamp made a splash his sophomore season when he lead Mountain View to a surprise state championship, which helped him earn Arizona's Big School Player of the Year honors. His injury marginalized his individual achievements as a junior, though Kamp was still named to the five-man All-Arizona Team this winter.
Kamp's suitors have continued to push despite his injury setback. He has offers from over half the Pac-10 plus a number of schools in the East like Boston College, Virginia and Iowa. Expect this Arizona native to stay closer to home, however.
"It's the coaches. All four are awesome guys," Lane Kamp continues. "Especially, the academics are great at those two [Bay Area] schools - Cal is the number one public school in the nation and Stanford is a West Coast Ivy League. But the coaches are number one for Harper. He likes their programs - their style of ball. That's all him."
One hometown suitor who offered but has been on the outside looking in is Arizona State.
"ASU is always an option if they brought in a miracle coach," the elder Kamp comments. "The coach who offered him [Rob Evans] has been fired."
Harper Kamp's recruitment has already proven, however, that a school can climb (back) into consideration. Among his four favorites today, Cal was an afterthought at the start of his junior season. Ironically, it was after Kamp's injury that the Bears blew onto the scene and now today own what might be the pole position in this race.
"Cal approached Harper last summer, but they gave up because they thought they couldn't beat Arizona. Then Arizona stopped recruiting him. Braun offered and flew out," the elder Kamp explains. "Ben Braun has been out four times to see Harper."
Lane Kamp also shares that New Mexico head coach Ritchie McKay made four trips to see his son this winter. With a perception of greater attention from some schools versus others, with the head coaches being the number one factor in Kamp's recruitment, that begs the question of whether one or more of these schools have pulled ahead of the pack.
"They're stacking up equally," Kamp's father says of the four favorites. "Stanford and Cal have a little priority, but we had a great time with Coach [Tim] Floyd."
The Kamps have a goal of a college commitment by the end of the summer. The new NCAA rules prohibit official visits during a recruit's junior year, which puts the onus upon the family to take unofficial visits. They have already visited New Mexico and USC, and later this week they will hit the Bay Area - scheduled Friday the 7th at Cal and Saturday the 8th at Stanford. Harper Kamp has never previously visited Berkeley or The Farm.
"It's probable that we will make a second sweep of all four schools at the end of the summer," the father adds. "It's a bummer because I have to pay for it [laughs]. But that would give Harper a second look, and a chance for him to play some open gym with the kids at each school. We don't want to wait until official visits in the fall."
This is also a time where top junior recruits can be measured by their Stanford admissions application progress. While Kamp's interest in the Cardinal is high enough to come visit the campus unofficially, his father says that the application has not yet been touched.
"If he does the application at all, it will be after this visit," Lane Kamp comments. "After the visit, then he'll know how interested he is."
The younger Kamp scored a 1780 on the new SAT, but is looking for a higher score. "He didn't study at all but wants to take it again," says the father. "He said he'll 'study and whoop it.'"
Keeping track of where Harper Kamp plays his AAU basketball has been its own chore throughout his recruitment. He played originally with the Arizona Magic as a sophomore but then jumped to the Schneider All-Stars for the summer. Kamp is now scheduled to play with the Arizona Stars this spring and summer, with a full slate of events around the country to attend. During this month's evaluation period, you can find Kamp at the Las Vegas Easter Classic, the Houston Kingwood Classic and the Las Vegas Spring Showcase on consecutive weekends starting April 12-16. The Arizona Stars will travel to Nashville for the Nike Memorial Day Weekend tournament that has been typically played in New Orleans. July will take Kamp as an individual to the Nike All-American Camp, and then he will travel with his AAU team to the Peach Jam, the Main Event and the Price Chopper/Kansas City Prep Invitational.
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