NY2LASPORTS.COM - INTERVIEW WITH 2014 PG LAMONTE BEARDEN
Nick Aiello — Contributing Editor - NY2LASPORTS.COM
Fresh off a victory and performance that helped catapult his team to a 54-0 record over the last two years and into the state tournament to continue Germantown High School’s journey to defend its Division 1 State Championship, 2014 point guard Lamonte Bearden is taking everything in right now. We caught up with the talented junior to get an update...
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“I’m feeling great right now... Being one of the top four teams in the state is great!” Bearden said about the experience thus far. As we talked the other night, the junior guard reflected a bit on the season he has had and how his recruitment is developing...
For anyone who was skeptical about the 6-3 170-pound point guard before his junior season, Bearden seems to have silenced the critics. The junior guard has been spectacular this season, averaging 13.3 ppg (a high of 27), 14 ppg in the post-season, including the 22-point 8-assist performance in the Sectional Final to bring his new team back to state. Bearden values being a key piece to a program like Germantown, coming in this year a new member to an established program, just wanting to work hard and help get the job done. The junior has exceeded expectations and with the help of teammates like Luke Fischer, Jake Showalter, Evan Wesenberg and others, Germantown has earned a national ranking and a target on its back with teams wanting to be the one to end the streak. “It feels good being a part of a good program with great players,” he said.
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Personally, Bearden admits the year has been good for him and he’s enjoyed the way things have gone, but knows he has things he wants to improve after the season finishes. “I want to work on my ability to change direction faster while dribbling and also my jump shot, as well as defense even though I get a lot of steals there’s always room for improvement.” Self-aware and motivated to get better, Bearden still took time to mention things he counts on in his game: “Ball screens, working the pick-and-roll is my strength, and passing...” The 6-3 guard has also demonstrated a developed ability to score the basketball getting to the rim this year with swift but strong movements towards the hoop, able to rise up and score above the rim, as well as finding his way to the line often and sinking free throws at 83% efficiency.
Several colleges in-state and around the country are taking notice of Bearden and the way his game has advanced. Though North Dakota State is the lone offer to this point, several others have contacted Bearden with interest: North Carolina State, Iowa, Iowa State, Richmond, South Dakota, Clemson, TCU, San Francisco, Marquette, Illinois State, Bradley, UW-Green Bay (UWGB) and UW-Milwaukee (UWM). Some have hinted that they will be offering soon, but for now Bearden is weighing all his options and planning to take visits to many of the schools soon. “I’m looking for a school with a good program, meaning one that will try to get you ready for the next level, and a staff that you can talk to outside of basketball - personally,” the junior point guard mentioned.
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In the meantime, Bearden is focused on the present task at hand, one he has been waiting for and looking forward to his whole life... the state championship tournament in Madison, WI. The smooth-footed point is a guard that strives on platforms against tough teams and challenging opponents to show what he and his teammates can accomplish. “I like big games and crowds so I’m looking forward to these games and hopefully we can do big things.”
Once the tournament is finished, whether Germantown repeats as the undefeated champion or not, Bearden can reflect on a great season with many positive developments in his game. This spring and summer season will then bring another adjustment for the soaring floor general as he plans to compete for the Wisconsin Swing after playing with the Wisconsin Scholars last summer.. The AAU circuit this year will be lively and Lamonte Bearden is certainly prepared to take on whatever comes his way.
Note: Nick is a contributing editor for NY2LASPORTS.COM and 414HOOPS.COM. He is also the senior videographer for NY2LAHOOPS.TV. Follow Nick on Twitter @N_Aiello and @SirNixA_Lot.