Athlete Spotlight: Harlem High School - Jon Rickerson, Will Smith and Tim Camp.
Something's brewing at Harlem High School, and there are three Bulldogs that don't mind stirring the pot.
Harlem basketball players Jon Rickerson, Tim Camp and Will Smith have tasted success on the court, and they want to share the winning recipe.
"Right now I think basketball is the most exciting sport at this school," Rickerson said. "You can tell by the fan support. You can hardly find a seat at home games.'
Harlem hasn't always been top Dogs on the hardwood, but the team qualified for the state playoff two seasons ago, and is off to a solid start by winning three of four games to start the current campaign.
"We've made a lot of progress," Smith said. "This program is on the rise."
The same could be said of Smith, a senior guard who is in his fourth season of basketball at Harlem.
"This season Will has become one of our leaders at practice and during drills," Harlem coach Kim Chambers said. "In the games he does the little things for us, like taking a charge or diving on the floor."
Smith's role is to be a team player, sparking the defense and setting up teammates with good passes. He'll also shoot the three, but scoring isn't his bag.
"I always work hard and hustle, but my only real goal is for the team to make the state tournament and go as far as we can," Smith said.
Camp is a senior forward, and he dominates opponents with his power in the paint. Physical strength will earn him a college football scholarship, but for now, Camp is thinking only about the future of Harlem's basketball team.
"I think we can make the playoffs this season," Camp says. "That's a goal of mine. I really don't have any personal goals."
Along with possessing a silky jump shot, Camp has a magic touch with his teammates.
"Tim is an all-around athlete, and he's also like having a coach on the court. He knows where his teammates need to be," Chambers said.
Rickerson knows where he wants to be, and that's shooting hoops for Harlem. The junior had to make a quick adjustment this season, and he's feeling right at home in his new position.
"We're asking Jon to be a point guard, and that's not his natural position. He's more of a shooting guard," Chambers said. "Now he's bringing the ball up the court and setting the tempo. Sometimes that means sacrificing points, but he's doing exactly what we asked him to do."
Chambers really didn't ask too much - Rickerson prides himself on breaking the press, and he doesn't mind dishing out assists, as long as Harlem gets the win.
"I try to get all my teammates involved," Rickerson said. "This year we wanted to be more team-oriented, and so far I think we've done a good job at that. We want to continue that the rest of the season."
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