South Lakes wing Brandon Kamga comes into his own during big summer

September 13, 2013

The cliche among most basketball players is to say they are in the gym every day, working hard at their craft. But a closer study often shows that “every day” typically means three times a week or every other day.

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For Brandon Kamga, there is no exaggeration in his workout schedule. Literally every day, the 6-foot-4 South Lakes guard/forward is somewhere on a basketball court, putting up shots, improving his agility or playing pick-up against local competition.

“There are no days off for me,” Kamga said in between workouts during a phone interview on Thursday. “Every single day I’m in the gym, playing ball or working out in some way.”

This summer, most of that work came on the AAU circuit with Basic 1st, as Kamga emerged from under the radar to become one of the area’s most talked about recruits. Kennesaw State became the latest to offer the junior swingman on Wednesday, joining a list that includes Howard, Holy Cross, James Madison and Radford along with strong interest from West Virginia and VCU.

South Lakes junior Brandon Kamga used his motor and gym rat mentality to put together a big summer and earn his first scholarship offers (Photo courtesy of Mike Desmond and Basic 1st) South Lakes junior Brandon Kamga used his motor and gym rat mentality to put together a big summer and earn his first scholarship offers. (Photo courtesy of Mike Desmond and Basic 1st)

Following South Lakes’s loss to Fairfax in the first round of the Liberty District tournament last winter, Kamga vowed to never let his team feel that type of disappointment again. Immediately, he engrossed himself with becoming a more consistent player and shooter.

“We were not a great team last year and he was motivated to change that,” said South Lakes Coach Andrew Duggan, whose team went 9-14. “He’s always been a very good scorer and slasher. What I saw him doing this summer was being more aggressive in getting to the basket and using his increased strength to get there easier. He’s a tough player to stop.”

The crown jewel of Kamga’s big summer came at the Big Shots All-American Camp in July at DeMatha. With college coaches peppered along the sidelines, Kamga exploded for 38 points and 11 rebounds to earn MVP honors. Shortly thereafter, his first offer came from Howard.

“After that game, I started to feel comfortable and told myself that I can play with these dudes,” said Kamga, who averaged a team-high 17.6 points for South Lakes last season. “The offer from Howard put a smile on my face but I knew I couldn’t be satisfied.”

This attitude has surfaced during South Lakes’s workouts this past week. With Duggan putting his players through an assortment of agility workouts and offensive drills, Kamga’s energy and motor has invigorated his teammates and further impressed the college coaches who have stopped by while on the recruiting trail.

“He’s first in everything and you love to see that,” Duggan said. “He’s a gym rat to the core. We saw he had potential when he first got to South Lakes and we knew it was a matter of time before his hard-working mentality would pay off, and it’s been great to see.”

NUMBER CRUNCH: 32
Consecutive games won by Briar Woods following Thursday’s 35-3 win against Loudoun County. The No. 6 Falcons overcame a slow start behind Trace McSorley’s 295 yards and four touchdowns in the victory.

BREAKFAST LINKS
–Kevin Joppy and his teammates “put on a show” during No. 3 Quince Orchard’s 42-0 rout of Whitman on Thursday.

–Falls Church running back Dieon Dupont broke in the new turf at the school by rushing for 130 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s 43-14 win against Jefferson.

–Northwest quarterback Joshua Gills used his legs to lead the Jaguars past Richard Montgomery, rushing for 162 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-13 win.

–Churchill boys’ basketball coach Matt Miller resigned Thursday to become an assistant at Division II Shepherd University in West Virginia.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
Oxon Hill at Bladensburg, 3:30 p.m.

Both football teams enter Friday’s contest with hopes of building on their strong start to the season. Bladensburg will be tasked with slowing a balanced Oxon Hill attack that put up 52 points last week and is led by QB Anthony Dougherty and two-way starter Brian Darby.

DMVelite 80, Saturday at noon at Bowie City gym
For those having basketball withdrawal, the DMVelite 80 is a perfect place to get your fix. Eighty of the area’s top players, including  All-Met players Melo Trimble of O’Connell and Dion Wiley of Potomac, will take part in a series of games that are sure to be intense. Click here for more information and here for the impressive list of players expected to attend.

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.
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