Allen Latham, Jr. was asked recently to assess his senior campaign for the Marion (Arkansas) High basketball team.
“I think it went really well,” Latham, Jr. told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson. Then after pausing momentarily, Latham Jr. recalled arguably his grandest memory of his final season of major prep basketball.
“I had a breakout game of 31 points and being the team captain, that led to me being a leader on and off the court,” Latham, Jr. said.
Now that his prep hoops tenure has ended, the 6-foot-2, 187-pound swingman is now clinging to lofty aspirations of extending his athletic talents at the collegiate level.
To his credit, he certainly appears on track to possibly suiting up in a college uniform in the coming months, considering Latham, Jr. was invited recently to put his mechanics on display before the coaching staff at Harding University, a Division 2 school in Searcy, Arkansas.
Although the 18-year-old Latham, Jr. has yet to garner any official offers, he has acquired some interest and qualified academically, according to his father, Allen Latham, Sr.
For the past couple of weeks, Latham, Sr. has been quite complimentary of his son, saying, among other things, that he has exceeded expectations on and off the court and that he is worthy of having a shot of fulfilling his dream of playing college basketball.
“He began playing (basketball) at the age of six,” Latham, Sr. said of his son, whom he said also generated interest from Arkansas Tech and Ecclesia College in Springdale, Arkansas.
Ever since his child first dribbled and launched a basketball toward a goal, the elder Latham knew his son would ultimately find his niche in the sport.
This past season, unlike any other, it seemed he had done just that, something by which he hopes college scouts and recruiters will subsequently take into account in the foreseeable future.
“He has a lot of talent and potential to do well in this sport,” Latham, Sr. said. “He had (a number of) good games (this past season), he didn’t get hurt, and he played team ball.”
Indeed he did.
In leading coach Irving Clay’s Patriots in scoring at better than 13 points per game, Latham appeared in 25 of Marion’s 26 outings and, by season’s end, the Patriots’ late-season surge gave way to a 14-12 finish and a No. 43 overall ranking in the state in a final poll released by Maxpreps.com.
A pretty impressive resume for a talented swingman who doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s aiming to make a favorable impression upon scouts — much sooner than later.
“I’m a solid shooter who can handle the ball and who is willing to go 110 percent and continue to work hard,” Latham, Jr. said, when asked what he’d like to say to recruiters. “(Basketball) is the love of my life. My whole life has been created to school, serving God, and basketball. I won’t stop now.”
That was quite evident this past season at Marion.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.