Penn State Men’s Basketball Caps Off Signing Day With Historic Class

Penn State basketball finalized its best recruiting class ever today. Using his Philadelphia roots, Pat Chambers received commitments — and today, letters of intent — from Roman Catholic High School trio Tony Carr, Lamar Stevens, and Nazeer Bostick, and Oak Hill big man Joe Hampton.

For Chambers, years of hard work and on-court struggles are starting to pay off.

“Obviously it’s a big day for our program,” he said. “I appreciate the patience that this administration has had with us…It’s been a long five years.”

Chambers said that recruiting players that know each other through high school or AAU teams is a method that proved successful during his time at Boston University. In the trio from Roman Catholic — an elite basketball school in Philly — Chambers did just that.

“For whatever reason things happened the first couple years here that didn’t work, now it’s starting to work,” he said. “If we can get a great group of guys that want to play together, then that’s what we’re going to do.”

Chambers suggested that because the class, which won’t see the court until next year, has experience together, the camaraderie and connection is already present.

“They love hanging out with each other,” he said, “they recruited each other.”

The class, which 247 ranks as No. 14 in the nation, proves that Penn State can match up against in-state recruiting foes Temple and Villanova. Chambers acknowledged that the Lions had lost out on players to the two big-name urban schools, but it feels good to finally win a few recruits that they were targeting as well.

“It’s friendly competition,” he said.

In Hampton, a 6-foot-6 forward, Chambers said Penn State’s getting a Big Ten ready body that possesses play-making skills.

“He can post you up, he can shoot threes, high IQ, great passer,” he said. “He [and the other commits] played at high AAU levels, they can win, they’re absolute winners.”

Carr, a well-sized, 6-foot-4 guard, will provide leadership, according to Chambers. “He’s your quarterback, he’s your leader,” he said. “He’s who you want with the ball at the end of the game.”

Bostik, whose nickname is the Horse, was the first to sign this morning. Bostick also provides size at the guard position, standing 6-foot-5. The nickname is well deserved, Chambers said.

“He takes pride in doing the heavy lifting and the dirty work. He is the heart and soul of this Roman Catholic team, driven by a fierce competitor with a tremendous amount of passion for the game.”

And then there’s Lamar Stevens, a four-star, 6-f00t-7 forward that turned down offers from Maryland and Pitt. Stevens, with his size and strength, should contribute immediately upon stepping foot on campus. Chambers was equally excited about his prospects.

“He’s a mismatch, he’s so physically strong, he’s Big Ten ready,” he said. “He’s going to be living at the free throw line. He’s a competitor.”

The future is bright for Penn State basketball, but this year’s season begins Saturday. For Chambers and his staff, the challenge is weighing the future and the present.

“We’re hearing from kids in 2017, and we may not even have scholarships for them, can you imagine that? We’re hearing from kids in 2018.”

Image: Penn State Basketball

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Ben Berkman

State College, PA

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