Little Elm (Texas) point guard R.J. Hampton is one of the top players in the country, regardless of class, with a who’s who of college suitors to match his five-star status like Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma and many others. Hampton, who is ranked No. 2 overall USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2020, was a member of the U16 National Team that captured the gold medal at the FIBA U16 Americas Championship last summer. He obliterated the competition to the tune of 31 points per game this high school season and now he’s pumping in 26 points a game on the UA Circuit. He’s agreed to give USA TODAY HSS exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from his recruitment to his everyday life in a blog.
It’s R.J. back at it again with another blog for USA Today!
So my team Mudiay Elite plays on the Under Armour circuit and through two sessions I feel like we’re playing alright. We had ups and downs, but I feel like we’re in a good place now and we learned a lot as a team.
This was my first year on the 17U level and I feel like I’ve played pretty well, just showing everyone a lot of what I did in the high school season. I had to mentally prepare for my first year at this level, but the preparation was basically the same as 16U; the biggest difference is the environment.
At the 17U games there are always lots of coaches and every game is packed. It’s an adjustment, but I just try and block it out and focus on what I do on the court.
It’s actually fun to me just having all of the legendary coaches watching you like Coach K, Roy Williams, Coach Cal, Coach Self… That’s what you dream of.
I just feel like if that doesn’t excite you then what are you playing for?
My dad is the coach and he does a great job of putting me in situations where I can succeed and my teammates do a great job helping me out too.
It’s a really good situation.
Next for me is tryouts for the USA Basketball team next month and I’m excited to get the chance to put that USA on my chest again.
We won with the U16 team last year and that was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
In preparation for that, I’ve been playing a lot of pick-up games. My dad has gotten a good group of about 15 guys together to run up and down every day. I’ve been using the FIBA ball to get ready.
I also run a lot of sprints too; just to get my wind up.
I just want to make the team and win another gold medal!
Since the spring I’ve picked up offers from Duke, Memphis, Florida State, Mississippi State too. My dad knows the rest of the schools, but I’m happy with the list of schools that have been in contact with my dad.
I get to talk to the coaches starting on June 15, which is the day I leave for USA Basketball so that’ll be a busy day.
The schools that are prioritizing me are Duke, Kansas, Memphis, and Texas.
That makes me feel good because when they do that you know you’re the No. 1 option for that position. I’m a point guard, but I’m also a scorer so it doesn’t matter to me which position I play.
I’m just a basketball player.
I still get excited to hear what the coaches are telling my dad about me because everything is still new to me.
Like my dad told me that he was talking to Coach K and Coach Scheyer from Duke and they told him that I was the most skilled and polished recruit they’ve recruited since Jayson Tatum.
That was big time for me to hear.
As for my plans with my recruitment, I’m still talking with my parents about everything but I think I’ll be cutting my list down at the start of my junior year or a couple months in.
OK, so I’m out of school now, which has been cool, but I’m not one of those guys who hates going to school. I actually enjoy school.
I finished strong in the classroom with all A’s and I think I got a B in Chemistry.
I won’t be able to see my friends too much this summer because I’ll be traveling a lot with basketball. I’m mostly focusing on working out and watching my diet. I’ve cut out soda and Skittles! I mostly eat salads and my dad’s got me on protein shakes now too.
OK, so of course everyone is on this Drake-Pusha T back and forth and that one’s heating up! I’m definitely pulling for Drake in that one so we’ll see, but Pusha T is coming hard too.
I’ve been listening to Lil Baby’s “Harder Than Ever” album and Post Malone lately.
Both are great!
Of course, I’m still dominating on Fortnite, but y’all already knew that! Haha.
Oh, and my prediction for the NBA Finals is that either the Warriors will win in five or LeBron is gonna win it in seven because he’s the greatest ever!
You heard it here first! Haha!
OK, guys, I’ve gotta get out of here, but I appreciate you reading as always.
I’ll see you guys soon.
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