In early August, former NBA All-Star Shawn Kemp found himself back in the news, thanks to the hoops success of his son, Shawn Kemp Jr., who is headed to the elder Kemp's old stomping grounds to attend the University of Washington.
On Thursday, another member of Kemp's rather large and geographically spread family earned his father's public praise when the former NBA star told the Seattle Times that his 13-year-old son, Jamar, will attend Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea High. The decision caps an open period where it was undetermined where the younger Kemp would play.
"I think it's a good fit," Shawn Kemp Sr. told the Times' Mason Kelly. "Our family's got a pretty big history at O'Dea. It's a good situation for our family."
While it's too early to know if the younger Kemp will achieve the success of his father or elder half brother, he's certainly off to a good start. The powerful guard has deceptive speed for his 5-foot-11, 179-pound frame, and he is expected to add more height during his high school years.
In his time with the Seattle Speed Elite AAU program (whose figurehead is Atlanta Hawks guard Jamal Crawford), Jamar Kemp reportedly showed a surprising knack for refined ball skills, a talent that could make him an extremely versatile recruit as he adds height in his later years. That factor also has his father convinced he will eventually turn into a top-flight point-forward prospect.
"He's put in a lot of work," Shawn [Sr.] said. "He's a pretty good player. My son at the UW, Shawn Jr., is more of an inside player. Jamar is more of a finesse player. He's a really good shooter. He dribbles the ball very well, more of an outside guy, kind of a point-forward type of player."
And no matter what happens with Jamar's high school career, playing at O'Dea will give him the chance to build deeper family bonds with both his father and his half brother at the University of Washington, something he never got a chance to do when Shawn Jr. was growing up in the Atlanta area.
"It's just fun for us, because you never know if they're going to take after you when they get older or not," Shawn Kemp Sr. told the Times. "I'm just happy they want to be involved with sports, really."
- Shawn Kemp