BASKETBALL: From sleeper to keeper

Summer used to baseball season. Now it's becoming basketball recruiting season.

With Nike, adidas and Reebok sponsoring summer basketball camps for aspiring hoops stars, college coaches have a golden opportunity to check out the rising stars, as well as the established stars.

One of the former is Jarvis Varnado, a 6-9 forward from Haywood High in Brownsville. He had a 23-point game last week at the adidas Superstar camp in Suwanee, Ga., and is getting increased attention from big-time schools. Murray State reportedly offered him a scholarship as a high school sophomore. Tennessee, Mississippi State and Colorado have since made offers.

Varnado showed flashes as a junior last season. He blocked 14 shots in a game against Brighton and had a 20-point, 14-rebound outing against Memphis Mitchell in the sectional tournament.

Varnado certainly has basketball bloodlines. His dad, Winston, played college ball for Lambuth and recently was elevated to head coach at Haywood High after four years as an assistant. His mom, Janice, played college ball at Union University.

Jarvis is well on his way to becoming better than either of them. He averaged nearly eight blocked shots per game last season.

The bad news: Early indications are he'd like to follow the lead of Haywood High grad Tony Delk and attend the University of Kentucky. The Wildcats have yet to offer but they'll probably check him out before long.

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