Reign Man Jr. is officially a Dawg

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by: Griffin Bennett

The wide speculation that Shawn Kemp Jr. was going to walk on at UW was only half true. Kemp Jr. is on campus and on the team, but Coach Romar decided to give him the 6th scholarship of the 2011 recruiting class. The addition of the 6’9″ 265 pound power forward adds some needed size to the Huskies front line, but he hasn’t played organized basketball since 2009-2010 season and needs to work out the rust before he can contribute.

While every scholarship is only guaranteed for one year, I questions the decision to give him the remaining scholarship this season. Is he really worth it? Could we use it next year instead? Then I look at UW’s potential recruits for 2012, which are few and far between, and I say ‘why not’.

We need to ignore the name, first and foremost. He isn’t his father and doesn’t even come close to him in pure athleticism. To be fair though, almost no one else has either. As of now, I’m predicting a red shirt for Kemp Jr. I think he is more of a long-term sleeper but with the Huskies’ situation down low, I wouldn’t put it past him earning some playing time. I’ll reevaluate him in October.

***Update 11:14 AM***

Romar stated on 950 KJR radio that Kemp will not red shirt this year and that he expects Kemp Jr. to contributed right away.

Here is the official UW press release:

SEATTLE – Lorenzo Romar announced the addition of Shawn Kemp, Jr. to the 2011-12 Husky men’s basketball roster. Kemp is the son of the former Seattle Super Sonics legend by the same name.

“We’re happy to have Shawn Kemp, Jr. join our program,” Romar said of the 6-foot-9, 265-pound forward. “He gives us additional size and athleticism up front.”

Kemp attended post graduate school at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. and originally signed with Auburn in November 2009. Prior to attending Hargrave Military Academy, Kemp played for Cherokee HS in Canton, Ga. where he averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds as a junior.

He signed a scholarship agreement and started summer classes on July 7. Kemp joins five other Huskies that are participating in the UW’s L.E.A.P. Program: Andrew Andrews, Martin Breunig, Jernard Jarreau, Hikeem Stewart and Tony Wroten. L.E.A.P. is designed to help new players get acclimated to college life and get a head start on academics.