NBA free-agency tracker:

The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Newest Washington signee is a very familiar name in Seattle

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

Shawn Kemp Jr.

If Shawn Kemp Jr. ever grew tired of the inevitable comparisons to his father during his high school days in Georgia, the 6-foot-10 forward better brace himself for more of the same in college.

The eldest son of Seattle Supersonics legend Shawn Kemp will play his college basketball in the same city where his father enjoyed his greatest NBA success. Washington announced Thursday that Kemp Jr. has signed a financial aid agreement with the Huskies and will be eligible to compete for the team next season.

"He's lived with the comparisons, but he deals with it extremely well," said Roger Kvam, Kemp's former coach at Cherokee High School in Canton, Ga. "He's got a good temperament. He doesn't let things get to him."

Sharing the same name and the same sport as his famous father, who played 14 seasons in the NBA, certainly invites outsiders to make comparisons, but it's Kemp Jr.'s familiar style of play that makes the similarities all the more noteworthy. Although he only began playing in eighth grade and he's still developing post moves and a consistent jump shot, he runs the floor well, possesses explosive leaping ability and has soft enough hands to finish all sorts of alley-oop passes at the rim.

Whether Kemp Jr. can make an immediate impact at Washington is probably unlikely since he's still raw and he's taken a meandering path to the Huskies.

Kemp Jr. initially signed with Alabama in 2008 and later committed to Auburn in 2009, but wasn't academically eligible to enroll at either school. He spent the 2009-10 season at Hargrave Military Academy and the last school year away from basketball in order to shore up his academics so he could enroll at Washington.

"The first thing he's going to have to do is get into condition," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar told the Seattle Times on Thursday. "That's the first thing. Just going that hard every day, that's the second adjustment. He has not played at this level yet. It's good that he's in summer school and he's going now because he's going to need to get the kinks out. He'll be hard worker. I know that he'll do whatever is necessary to regain his form." {YSP:MORE}

The eldest of at least eight different kids Kemp Sr. fathered with at least six mothers, Kemp Jr. grew up without his father in his life for most of his childhood. Mother Genay Doyal relocated from the Seattle area to Georgia when Kemp Jr. was 5 and the former NBA star didn't begin fostering a relationship with his namesake until 2006.

According to Kvam, Kemp Jr. and his father have grown closer since high school. Kvam said both father and son have lived in Seattle during the past year and they frequently work out together, whether it's doing mountain runs or running stadium steps on the Washington campus.

It's foolish to predict that Kemp Jr. will one day be as good as his father, but Kvam is confident the younger Kemp will be an impact player at Washington.

"He's a great kid, very coachable with outstanding ability," Kvam said. "He was just scratching the surface here. I think he's going to get better and better at the next level."

Follow Yahoo! Sports on Facebook and be the first to know about the most interesting stories of the day.

Other popular Yahoo! Sports stories:
Crazy photos of dust storm engulfing stadium
Muhammad Ali's special gift to Mavs star Dirk
Home run derby to use gold baseballs

View Comments