Lehigh Hoops Nation, as part of the continuing effort to get everyone prepared and ready for the ’13-’14 edition of Lehigh Basketball, was fortunate enough to chat with freshman big man Tim Kempton in an attempt to help introduce him to Mountain Hawk fans. Special thanks to Tim for taking the time to chat!
Q.) It is pretty clear where your basketball genes come from Tim, with your dad having played at Notre Dame and in the NBA, but can you talk about how much your dad helped you with different parts of your game and your work ethic?
A.) My dad has been one of my main mentors in the process of my game. Having someone like him right there living with me is something easy to take advantage of and something I did often. Him going through the process of recruiting, to Division I basketball, and then to the pros has helped me as well; telling me the work I need to put in, the process of what will happen, and the parts of my game I need to work on in order to be effective at the next level.
Q.) I read you didn’t really start playing until 7th grade, which is interesting when you consider the fact that your dad played in the league, why the late start into the sport?
A.) Basketball has always been something I would mess around with or play outside just throwing up shots, or dunking on a seven foot hoop but nothing I took seriously. I played competitive baseball until seventh grade and that was why I never fully got into basketball. I then stopped playing baseball in the seventh grade and that’s where my basketball started to get serious. I played club ball and started working on my game to get better and complete my goal of playing Division I Basketball.
Q.) Why did you decide to come to Lehigh and was there one specific moment or event where everything clicked and made you realize that LU was where you were going to go to college?
A.) My official visit. On my official and after I fell it just clicked. Both the academics and athletics was something that I was looking for, and loved the team and the coaches.
Q.) It was reported that you and Austin had your official visits the same weekend, and I’m curious if you put any pressure on him to join you at Lehigh after you signed?
A.) Hahah, yes very much so. I was all over Austin texting him every day and asking him what he’s thinking and feeling. It just so happened that he ended up committing as well.
Q.) You had a phenomenal senior season at Brophy Prep, winning Arizona Prep Player of the Year, but I know the season didn’t end as you planned with your team getting knocked out early in the playoffs. Did that loss help motivate you over the summer?
A.) Yes, at first it was something that I was very down about not being able to play and all and having my senior year end like that, but after everything was over and looking at the big picture, I was still going to be playing and I had to move on. So it did motivate me knowing that my career was not ending like that and still have years in front of me.
Q.) Can you give a self-scouting report on your game for Lehigh fans?
A.) Low post player, but can also stretch my game out to the 15 foot range. Love facing up in the post and going from there.
Q.) What “current” NBA player best describes your style of play?
A.) Zach Randolph
Q.) What part of your game have you been working on the most since your Brophy Prep season ended last spring?
A.) Back to the basket, post play. At Brophy I was able to score in a lot of different ways, but at the next level I knew most of it would come from post plays where my back is to the basket. This has been where my dad has played a huge role obviously being able to play against him and him teaching me different moves and everything.
Q.) You got to campus well before the majority of your non-basketball playing classmates, as you enrolled in summer school to take a class and workout with other LU players and coaches, what was that experience like?
A.) It was definitely a change, being away from home for the first time and everything. It was something that helped with the process though, getting two classes done, and also being able to work out with the team with the coaches getting acclimated to the new system and new offense. I believe it was something that was very helpful.
Q.) I thought it was pretty cool how all of the incoming freshman all regularly conversed via Twitter before even arriving in July, but how has it been getting to meet and get to know all of these guys?
A.) It’s been amazing; all the guys are wonderful people. The class is full of well-rounded people.
Q.) What goals have you set for yourself in your first season?
A.) Earn a spot in the starting rotation, help with a Patriot League Title, Average double-double, PL ROY
Q.) Tell us about yourself off the court?
A.) Love to hang out with friends, play piano, into fashion.
Thanks again for the time Tim.