Neumann-Goretti High School has won three out of the last four PIAA Class 3A basketball championship state titles. Throughout this successful run, they have produced divison 1 caliber guards, such as, John Davis, who averaged 12.9 points and 11 rebounds during his senior year and now attends Towson. Ja’Quan Newton and Troy Harper, who were the starting guards for the Knights just last season, have gone on to attend Miami and Campbell, respectively.
St. Joseph’s will be getting the next standout guard from the Philadelphia powerhouse, LaMarr Kimble. The true point guard is 6 foot and weighs 180 pounds. Kimble, a local talent, will not have to travel far next fall, as Neumann-Goretti and St. Joe’s are only a half an hour away from each other.
The former Knight has consistently won games ever since he put on a high school jersey. Although, he did not play very much during his freshman year, his team did win the 2012 PIAA Class 3A Championship. He would go on to win two more state titles, in 2014 and 2015. His junior year in high school would prove to be one of his best, when he averaged 12.2 points.
Kimble does not shy away from making the extra pass, if that’s what it takes for his team to win the game. His ability to change speeds helps him create shots. His strong dribbling in transition keeps defenders honest and puts pressure on them to get back on defense. He’s actually a really strong ball handler and rarely turns over the ball.
His best attribute by far is his capability to drive and kick the basketball. He has consistently played against quality competition, throughout his high school career and has had success.
Kimble’s lack of size, allows opponents to shoot right over him, which makes him a liability on the defensive end. Staying in front of his man on defense, can sometimes be difficult, but this is a result of his physical shape. Kimble is often seen with his hands on his hips throughout the first quarter of games. This shows his lack of conditioning that could definitely be improved. His inability to convert on free throws, also costs his team precious points.
In addition, he sometimes starts off big games slow. For example, he only scored 2 points in the first half of the 2015 state championship game against Archbishop Carroll but did finish the game with 10 points/3 rebounds/3 assists/1 block/1 steal. His junior year was impressive but he played heavily off of a senior dominated squad, led by scoring leader, Ja’Quan Newton.
Good fit or Bad fit?
The Philadelphia native is a good fit for now, but after last year’s Atlantic-10 scoring leader, DeAndre’ Bembry and forward Isaiah Miles graduate, the 2015 commit could find himself overwhelmed with responsibility. Kimble’s willingness to pass the ball will complement the entire team, especially Bembry. The winning persona that he has developed in high school under coach Carl Arrigale, should boost the mentality of the Hawks program, who finished last season with a 13-18 record. Though St. Joes does not need Kimble to score consistently right now, they will need him to improve that aspect of his game. When that times comes, we will all find out if coach Phil Martelli and his staff were right to choose Kimble. Hopefully he will develop into the player that can replace the scoring of Bembry and Miles.
Photo courtesy of MaxPreps
-Saint Joesph's loses to #25 Rhode Island in the Semifinal of the A-10 tournament