Former Yellow Jacket standout Justin Hampton is getting a second shot at basketball. Hampton recently competed the USA Select Basketball selection camp in Charlotte, North Carolina and was one of only 35 chosen to move on to the tour in Europe beginning in September.
“I found them online. I sent them an email with my profile and where I went to college. Having some college was a requirement. They invited me to come. They had a three day camp. Everyone played 10 games in three days and then they evaluated you. They selected 35 out of the 150 to 200 that attended. They’re taking us to Europe in September.
Over 21 days we’re going to play 25 games in eight different countries. These will be pre-season games for the European teams. We’re going to England first and then on to Finland. Everything else is still being set up,” said Hampton.
Each of the European teams scout the teams during this tour and players like Justin could get signed to play with one of the teams from this exhibition tour.
While it all seems rather jet setting and glamorous each of the 35 players must pay all of their own expenses for the tour. This adds up to at least $4000 per player. Hampton has until September to raise the funds. There are plans underway for a fundraiser and a Facebook page set up as well at https://www.facebook.com/JustinHamptonBasketball to assist in raising funds for him to go.
Justin could get signed on any day during the tour. There are no restrictions on when a European team can pick up one of the 35 players.
“If they need a rebounder and you rebound well they could sign you on the spot. It all depends on what each team needs,” said Hampton.
Justin is preparing by getting back into a full college workout routine. He’s running, lifting weights and going to the gym to shoot and workout daily. His parents are very proud of the opportunity their son has.
“It’s pretty cool. His mom and I are very proud of him for taking this step. He still has dreams of playing on the next level. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and actually take the chance,” said dad Parker Hampton.
The Grundy County community will need to get behind Justin if he’s going to have this opportunity and help him raise the $4000. If he’s successful it could be a great success story for the county if he becomes the first from the county to play professional basketball. If you’d like to help contact Justin or his dad Parker or go see them at the Piggly Wiggly in Gruetli-Laager.